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

PHOTOS: ''Torture'' Phalluses Give Beetles Breeding Boost
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The seed beetle species C. subinnotatus has a strange, jawlike structure on its genitalia (above, a close-up).

The function of the structure is still unknown, researchers said, but it looks like it's made to "grab hold of" something, perhaps the inner genitalia of females.

A study to be released in March 2009 found that the beetles with the longest and spiniest sexual organs were most successful at reproduction.

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— Photograph courtesy Johanna L. Ronn/Uppsala University
 
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