Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tapir Time

I subscribed to National Geographic about a year ago, and I am finally finally FINALLY slogging through past editions.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy them.  I feel the need to read every single article, so it takes time.  They are invariably interesting.  Informative.  Often times depressing.  But they are well written, they address important issues of our times, and they have amazing photographs.  Rarely do they make me laugh, but this particular article in the October 2016 edition made me cackle:

If it is too hard to read from the image above, here is a transcript:

Tapirs Are Surprisingly Well Endowed 

Their genitalia is “ungainly” but evolved that way for a reason. 


Perissodactyla, roughly translated, means “odd number of toes.” It’s the order of mammals that includes rhinos (three toes), horses (one hoofed toe), and tapirs (three toes in back and four toes in front).

Extra toes are an evolutionary advantage that helps barrel-bodied tapirs with weight bearing and traction. Another adaptive trait that male rhinos, horses, and tapirs share: They’re “extremely well endowed,” says tapir expert Michele Stancer, director of animal care at Utah’s Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City.

An aroused tapir’s manhood is so “large and ungainly,” Stancer says, “I actually have seen the male step on it and scream.” Maneuvering the organ into mating position involves many swings and misses. And yet, she says, the male “had to evolve to that size and shape to get where it needs to go” in the female’s lengthy genital tract to inseminate her. Another evolutionary adaptation: large flaps near the end of the penis that Stancer says “make a seal inside the female” so that tapirs can successfully breed underwater as well as on land.

Tapirs’ sex lives start when they’re about two years old and can last into their 20s. If all goes well in a tapir tryst, the female likely will bear a single infant (or, very rarely, twins) 13 months later.

BAH!  I think I read this article 3 times, and then unfortunately I felt the need to poke around a bit and get a visual.

Warning: Proceed with caution and only press play if you are certain you can handle it.  You won't be able to unsee this!!


Lorena said...

We have tapirs in the wild here :)
OMG I had not read about this.... and feared opening the video, the image was enough !

cerebral e said...

how did I never know this?