Sexual conflict takes shape in ducks

Anatomy differences, other clues suggest coevolution of genital traits

By Susan Milius, 09:59 AM December 23, 2009

The first intimate duck videos show that it’s mate and checkmate in the battle of the sexes.

High-speed cameras document that a male Muscovy duck can fully extend his 20-centimeter penis in a third of second, says evolutionary biologist Patricia Brennan of Yale University. (Watch the researchers' video.) That may be about all the time he has with a resisting female trying to escape him. Male Muscovy ducks rank among the waterfowl that often fail to take no for an answer.

Also on camera, d...

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