Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Weird News Wednesday-I'm Going Batty

I almost had to post on llamas as a Valentine's day gift and llamas as the new Israeli soldier. Just when I had given up hope of finding a suitably humorous news item to make fun of this little gem was dropped in my lap. Well, read on, maybe it's not a little gem. Maybe it's a massive set of family jewels.


SYRACUSE, New York (AP) -- For some male bats, sexual prowess comes with a price -- smaller brains.
(The joke is just toooooo easy here.)

A research team led by Syracuse University biologist Scott Pitnick found that in bat species where the females are promiscuous, the males boasting the largest testicles also had the smallest brains. Conversely, where the females were faithful, the males had smaller testes and larger brains. "It turns out size does matter," said Pitnick, whose findings were published in December in "Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biological Science," an online journal.

"Bats invest an enormous amount in testis, and the investment has to come from somewhere. There are no free lunches," said Hoskens, who did not participate in the study. The relationship between the breeding system and relative brain size has received little investigation, said Pitnick, who teaches evolution and population biology and researches topics such as sexual selection and sexual conflict.
(The real scientists, the ones with big brains, were probably busy looking for a cure for cancer or something else productive. I wonder if Scott has very large testicles. Maybe I could get a government grant to study the correlation between testicle size and the propensity towards bizarre research projects. Wait, if I do that does it indicate I am hiding a set of cajones? Gads! The research potential here is as massive as a set of bat's nuts!)

"If female bats mate with more than one male, a sperm competition begins," Pitnick said. "The male who ejaculates the greatest number of sperm wins the game, and hence many bats have evolved outrageously big testes."
(I've heard of competitions like this. I think they usually occur at frat parties.)

Promiscuity is known to make a difference in testicle size in some other mammals. For example, chimpanzees are promiscuous and have testicles that are many times larger than those of gorillas, in which a single dominant male has exclusive access to a harem of females. Large brains, meanwhile, are metabolically costly to develop and maintain.
(Has anyone examined llama testicles? I really think this is an overlooked area of research. We really need to get right on this! It could answer the burning question of why they make a good Valentine's day gift or an excellent soldier.)

13 comments:

Gary said...

I was going to make a snarky comment about this post, but I really don't have the balls to do it.

Jodes said...

WOW, I keep hearing people say snarky!!! Love it. Interesting post, I do not like bats. They use to get in our basement on the farm.

barefoot_mistress said...

Thanks Lime, I really needed to know that! Now, not only will I worry about bats landing in my hair and getting their claws stuck....I have to worry about their balls bonking me on the head when they do. LOL

logo said...

Lime, if you get that grant, do NOT ask me to help you measure llama balls, not gonna do it!

bsoholic said...

That's hiliarious. Scott Pink will forever go down in history as the "Bat Testis Scientist". Ah what an esteamed title.

lime said...

gary, LOL!!

jodes, snarky IS a fun word, hehe

bare, wear a helmet ;)

logo, oh come on! where is your sense of adventure?

bs, esteemed indeed! holy bat balls, batman!

Jodes said...

Yes I think your 12 year old would be ok with it too, is she pretty mature and well rounded? There is a lot of racial stuff in it but hey it was 1964 right after the civil rights act was signed.

Jericho said...

no wonder i was feeling really smart in the pool the other day ... ya learn something new everyday

Top cat said...

I'm totally confused with all this talk of bat's testis, Llama soldiers and monkey testicles..mama my head hurts!
tc

lime said...

jodes, thanks for the tip!

jericho, lmao and i am here to serve!

tc, rest your weary head right here. sssshhhh. it will be ok

James Goodman said...

That is too funny. good stuff...

lime said...

hehe, glad you liked it, james

The Zombieslayer said...

Whoa. How to comment on a post like that? ;)