Since Professor Cobb has seen fit to drag in matters scatological during my absence, I offer the following fun biology fact, taken from the Animal Diversity Web of the Univesity of Michigan’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. It refers to the North Atlantic right whale, Eubalaena glacialis:
Males tend to have the largest testes of any living mammal (weighing up to about 525 kg.), suggesting that sperm competition may play a significant role in determining mating success.
Larger testes, of course, connote larger amounts of sperm, which can be used to displace the sperm of a previously-mating male or simply to inseminate more females when there’s competition between males for females.
Speaking of the paternal apparatus, we might as well cite the world’s largest penis:
Blue Whale males have the biggest penises in the world, with sexual organs that can reach up to 8 feet long (2.4 meters). Blue Whales mate in warmer waters.
This doesn’t look like a blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) to me, but the organ is impressive:
If you’re interested in things penile, Wikipedia has a fascinating “Penis” entry, which includes this fact well known to biologists:
The record for the largest penis to body size ratio is held by the barnacle. The barnacle’s penis can grow to up to forty times its own body length. This enables them to reach the nearest female.
Here’s a video showing the
male male portion of a hermaphroditic barnacle in action: