PHOTOS: ''Torture'' Phalluses Give Beetles Breeding Boost

PHOTOS: ''Torture'' Phalluses Give Beetles Breeding Boost
<< Previous   3 of 6   Next >>
The genitalia of the C. analis beetle is covered in spines from base to tip. As male seed beetles' genitalia have evolved to be spinier, the bugs' reproductive success has improved, experts say in a study to be released in March 2009.

At the same time, females' genitalia have evolved in a sort of "arms race," the study says.

Females have thick padding on their reproductive tract that's reinforced with strong, elastic connective tissue. After each matingabout five to ten in a lifetimethe wounds heal and leave scar tissue.

Wounding females during mating is likely just an "unfortunate side effect" of the males' reproductive strategy, the study authors said.

 More Photos in the News
 Today's 15 Most Read Stories
 Free Email Newsletter: Photo of the Month
— Photograph courtesy Johanna L. Rönn/Uppsala University
 
NEWS FEEDS    After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed. After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed.

Get our news delivered directly to your desktop—free.
How to Use XML or RSS




 

50 Drives of a Lifetime

Listen to your favorite National Geographic news daily, anytime, anywhere from your mobile phone. No wires or syncing. Download Stitcher free today.