Two distinct genera of female bark lice evolved penises. Yes, this is what scientists found; and, the scientists also came up with a reason for this. According to these scientists, the lice seem to live in an environment where the sexy females had to develop tiny “penises” to get proper nourishment.
Scientists Argue that Sexy Females Evolved Penises
The scientists in the study done by Hokkaido University argue that two genera of female bark lice evolved erectable penises. The scientists argued that this was because the bark lice lived in caves that did not provide much nourishment.
Due to the cave environment with poor nutrients, the scientists argue that the females have an incentive to get the males’ ‘seminal gift’. Thus, they might need to force mating with males, as the males’ ‘seminal gift’ is nutrient-rich. The scientists also observed that, due to long mating times of up to 70 hours, the females need ways to forcefully stimulate their partners. The scientists argue that this is a reason why the females developed penises and why one genera developed anchoring spines.
In contrast, one species of bark lice did not have anchoring spines to tightly attach them to the males. The scientists argued that this was because this specific bark lice lived in a dry environment. Thus, predators, mating competitors, and mating disturbances are few.
Are Lice Different from Seahorses?
However, the lice are different from other animals such as seahorses. With seahorses, a female inserts a tube into a male’s pouch but she is not forcefully getting sperm; she is inserting eggs. In contrast, the bark lice females had insertable organs, and the males had pouches; consequently, the bark lice female forcefully retrieves sperm. And, the Hokkaido University scientists say that this is because the bark lice sperm has nutrients.
Sexy females in these bark lice genera have different organs from sexy females in the human species; and, there is no surprise. Nature has many variations, and all species adapt. And, who are we to think that one species is biologically constructed the same way as another?
Perhaps, this is also the fatal flaw in scientists’ thinking of aliens. It might be that aliens are not completely biological; this is because they might be A.I and human hybrids who have adapted years ago. Even NASA is starting to rethink its idea of space life.
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