The animal kingdom is characterized by a variety of penises that vary in shape, size, and function. These are some of the more unusual.
It is normal for the largest animal to have the largest dong. Whale penises are so large that they may have been confused with sea monsters. Their erections can extend up to 10 feet and ejaculate five gallons of semen in one shot.
Argentine lake ducks use their lance-shaped screw rods to attract females they mate with who are trying to escape. Its 17-inch members are the longest flying rod ever observed.
Most animals should call a doctor if they have an erection that lasts more than four hours, but alligators don’t experience persistent erections in the usual way: They have permanent erections and hide their nerves inside their bodies.
The echidna belongs to a rare group of egg-laying mammals, and biologists say its reproductive systems have more in common with birds and reptiles than with other mammals. Also, the penises of these tiny, spiky creatures have more heads than Cerberus. Male ants have four heads at the end of their genitals, but none of them are used for urination (which goes through a cloaca).
While there is still some mystery as to why they have four heads, a recent study determined how they work: The urethra and main blood vessels of the echidna penis are divided into four parts, one part for each head. Meanwhile, the spongy body– Penile tissue that transports semen through the urethra – is divided into two parts, one part for each pair of heads. But since only one spongy body operates at a time, the animal technically has two double-headed penises, which may give it a mating advantage due to its superior productivity.
Leopard mollusks have a penis sticking out of their heads, and since they are hermaphrodites, both mollusks can bear offspring when a couple mates. According to biologists (which is a great word for scientists who study mollusks), leopard mollusks mate by hanging upside down and wrapping their sticky rods around each other.
Barnacles’ penises can extend up to eight times the length of their bodies – and unlike animals of other species, they can also change shape. Researchers in Alberta, Canada, found that barnacles in gentle waters have long, thin rods to reach, while those in harsh waters have shorter, wider rods that are better for fending off strong waves. The researchers then moved the rougher water barnacles into calmer waters and vice versa and found that after moving them, the barnacles modified the shape of their penises to better fit their environment.
Like good s’mores poker, the snake rod has two sides. Known as hemipenis, scientists have speculated that the snake’s penises evolved in a bi-branched fashion due to the location of the mantle at the base of the tail. The snake usually keeps the halves of its penis folded inside its cloaca, which can change the shape of the tail (and make it easier to determine the sex of the snake from afar).
Felines have barbs on their penis, which makes mating painful. Because kittens are not born with these fishhook-like features, male kittens that are neutered before reaching puberty (which occurs around 6 months of age) will never develop barbs. If the cat is neutered after puberty, the thorns will disappear within a few weeks.
The greatest moment in the life of a male bee is the few seconds in which he mates with a queen. After that, everything descends. After a copulation session, the penis of the male bee is uprooted and it dies soon after.
Spiders that weave male orb come equipped with a detachable rod. These spiders also practice cannibalism, so cutting your organ can be a useful trick for a mate about to be eaten. The spider’s penis continues to pump sperm into the female even after it has separated from its original body.