Search is on for missing pieces in puzzle of male genital diversity | Science News

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Search is on for missing pieces in puzzle of male genital diversity

Subtle female shapes and even highway planning could affect evolution

By
6:00am, January 15, 2016
walrus

WILD ANATOMY  The much-discussed question of why male animals (walrus shown) can differ so much in genital anatomy could use some fresh approaches.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Crazily diverse shapes of male genitals across the animal kingdom — from curlicues and Y-tubes to multiknobbed, tendrilly whazzits — may evolve faster than any other animal structures. Biologists have spent more than a century debating how to explain such fast and extreme variation.

Now it’s time to search for explanations in two overlooked places: the female side of sex and the vast variety of places where animals live, researchers proposed early January at the annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology.

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