Animal Sex

This essay in the Times on evolution happening before our eyes in cities is very much worth reading: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/24/opinion/sunday/evolution-is-happening-faster-than-we-thought.html

I reviewed Menno’s last book after running into him in Prospect Park a couple of years ago:

Backyard and Beyond

nnrIt turns out that one of the best ways to tell species apart is to examine their genitals. There’s an incredible variety of forms of male and female sex organs, even within the species gathered together in a genus, and so for years biologists have been separating, for example, beetles that otherwise look rather similar, into different species because their genitalia look and correspondingly work together completely differently. This holds true for humans and our closest relatives, the apes and other primates, as well.

It’s only been more recently that scientists have been looking at the reasons for all this genital variety. Menno Schilthuizen’s new book, published by Penguin, is a fascinating look at the evolutionary underpinnings of the “naughty bits,” which of course are only naughty in an absurdly Puritan culture like ours.

So they might not actually be naughty, but they sure are varied! I was continually…

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