Query: "birds and bees" (OT)

Thu Feb 16 01:21:14 UTC 2006

        According to About.com,
http://experts.about.com/q/Wild-Animals-705/Birds.htm, a number of large
birds, not just swans, have penises:

        <<The males of only 3% of bird species have a penis, perhaps
because females prefer it that way, as they have control over males
without a penis and can control which sperm reaches their eggs. Most
birds copulate by briefly touching genital openings in a 'cloacal kiss'.
One scientist suggests that the penis evolved because males needed it to
advertise its sexual prowess and to force copulation. >>

        I feel sure that this information, and the word "fucking," did
not come up in any of these parent-child talks about the birds and the

John Baker

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
Of Laurence Horn
Sent: Wednesday, February 15, 2006 7:57 PM
Subject: Re: Query: "birds and bees"

>Uh, John, birds reproduce by fucking.

This is off topic, perhaps, but according to information provided this
week on another list I subscribe to, "Swans are the only birds with
penises!" (exclamation point in original).  I feel a tension between the
two claims above, and I'm not sure how to resolve it.


>The only difference is that the
>fertilized egg completes its development outside of the mother's body.
>I don't think embarrassed parents would have wanted to go there, right
>off the bat.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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