Australian scientists uncover the mystery behind the strange four Short-beaked echidna Penis by creating an advanced 3D model of a unique organ.
There are four types of echidna platypusConsists of a unique group known as the smallest of the three mammalian groups, Monotreme. Its members lay eggs like birds and fish, but it also produces milk like other mammals. Much of this group remains a mystery, researchers said.
One of the biggest platypus mysteries is the echidna penis, which has four separate heads or glans at the end of the shaft. If it wasn’t strange enough, only two of the heads would be used during each erection, and the echidna could alternate between the two they use.
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“It has always been a mystery how echidna does this,” the researchers say. Said in a statement.. “But for the first time, we have revealed what is happening anatomically.”
There is a lot of strangeness
The echidna penis, in addition to its unique shape, is unusual because, unlike most other mammals, it is used only for sexual reproduction and not for urination. Instead, the echidna uses the cloaca. This is a multipurpose opening for urination, defecation, and in women spawning. When not in use, the echidna’s penis is retracted into the body and emerges from the opening of the cloaca when it erects. Their testes, which are abnormally free of scrotum, always stay in their bodies.
In addition to their unconventional genitals, echidna sperm are also unconventional and have the amazing ability to work as a team.
“The ejaculated semen sample contained a bundle of up to 100 sperm that were combined at the tip of the head to form a sphere-like shape,” said the lead author of the study, Reproductive Biologist at the University of Melbourne. Scholar Jane Feneron told Live. Science. “These bundles have been observed to gradually swim forward in a lively and coordinated pattern, with larger bundles appearing to swim better than individual sperm or small bundles.”
There are very few animal sperms known to do this, and the reason behind it is unknown, Feneron said.
To better understand how the echidna’s penis works, Feneron’s team turned to echidna (Short-beaked echidna) In Australia’s Wildlife Sanctuary. Unfortunately, rescued echidnas are usually prone to injury from road accidents, are very serious, and animals are often euthanized. Fortunately for researchers, however, the euthanized echidna penis is still well-formed to study, Feneron said.
Researchers took the euthanized echidna and used a special one to create a 3D model of the penis CT scan..Because a normal CT scan only detects hard tissue such as bone, researchers stained the penis as follows: Iodine Allows you to map soft tissues.
“This meant that we could create a 3D model of the entire echidna’s penis and its important internal structure to see how it works,” the researchers write.
A 3D computer model revealed that the urethral canal through which sperm pass is split under the head into two separate tubes, each resplit and sperm delivered to each of the four heads. This makes sense, but the findings did not explain why only two heads were used during sex.
“Initially, we controlled the one-sided behavior seen in echidna,” “I thought we would find some sort of valve mechanism,” the researchers write. But instead of a valve, they realized that it was the type of tissue in the penis that actually caused it.
The mammalian penis is composed of two major types of erectile tissue-the corpus cavernosum and the corpus cavernosum. Both tissues are filled with blood during an erection, and the corpus cavernosum’s role is primarily to provide a stiff structure to the penis, which keeps the urethral canal open for sperm to pass through.
Each tissue begins as two different structures at the base of the penis. In most mammals, the two corpus cavernosum structures are integrated into one. The corpus cavernosum remains isolated. However, in the echidna, the corpus cavernosum remained isolated and the corpus cavernosum was integrated. This separate spongy tissue allows the echidna to allow the other half, or pair of heads, to stand upright independently of each other, the researchers said.
“I’m not sure why this is beneficial for male echidna,” Feneron said. “But I think it will be beneficial to the male-male competition for females.”
During another experiment on living but anesthetized echidna, researchers found that alternating head pairs allowed an individual to ejaculate 10 times in a row without significant rest. .. This may give some men an advantage over others, but more experimentation is needed to confirm this idea.
This study was published online in the journal on April 29th. Sexual development..
Originally published in Live Science.
Scientists unravel the mystery of four strange echidna penises
Source link Scientists unravel the mystery of four strange echidna penises