multiple erm...appendages

i was just told that iguanas, koalas, and komodo dragons each have 2 penises. “feh!” i thought. certainly with the VAST (aheh) knowledge of genitalia ive obtained over the years, i would have come across THIS! but then cecil DID confirm the fact that pigs do, in fact, have corkscrew shaped penises…hell, who am i to deny nature’s apparant giddy randomness.
does anyone know if this is fact or fiction?

Don’t know about the animals that you mentioned, but there is a birth defect wherein a male can be born with two penii. Apparently it’s a horribly painful thing to have.

You’d think it would help you be a pornstar, but no…

Actually, it would seem kind of silly to have two penises in any animal unless the female had two vaginas.

Many reptlies do have hemi-penes. So, yeah, some do have 2 - sort of.

Uh,:smiley: I can think of a few scenarios where you’d be wrong, but being a gentleman I would list them.

I had a monitor lizard, and whenever he took a dump his dicks would come out. Freaky.

I consider myself to be a kind of lizard… and I have only the one, luckily! More than one, and I couldn’t lead a normal life! :smiley:

Don’t female anteaters have two vaginas? Sure I read that somewhere…

Dunno. Cats have a forked uterus, so it’s in the shape of a “Y”. Maybe that’s what anteaters have.

Yup, the OP is absolutely right. Male lizards and snakes do have essentially two penises (or penes), referred to as hemipenes. They only use one at a time, though. There have been studies of what determines penis preference in these animals - that is, whether individuals prefer to use one rather than the other, or whether they alternate, say. (I think turtles and crocodilians have only one, but I would have to check.)

Marsupials (kangaroos, koalas, etc.) also have a two-prong dong, as one of my instructors in vertebrate anatomy put it.

alright, ya eggheads, so we’ve established that some animals DO in fact have a ‘double threat’, as it were…now tell me what the reason is. the scientific one, kids…

I just checked, and in marsupials, at least, the female also has a double vagina. Unlike in reptiles, I believe the male marsupial uses both parts of his organ at the same time, which makes sense in order to fertilize eggs in both halves of the female reproductive tract.

And for male reptiles, I expect having a spare would sometimes come in handy in case one was lost or became defective. It’s a pretty vital piece of equipment if you want to pass on your genes.

As for why female marsupials have a paired tract, or a more basic reason why male reptiles and marsupials might have double penises, I don’t think this necessarily needs an adaptive explanation. After all, animals also usually have paired kidneys, testes and ovaries, as well as paired nostrils and lungs. There’s no functional reason why this arrangement would work any better than one (and most birds have only one functional ovary). According to the basic vertebrate body plan, many things are paired, and this may just be the easiest way to do things developmentally.

Im not sure what the OP is but yes pigs do have those wine opener penises.

Some men have two penises too.

I read (no, I can’t remember where) that a certain people in Australia (possibly on the northern or north-east coast) practise an initiation rite where a sharp stone is used to split the glans penis down the middle in imitation of the penis of a kangaroo.

hibernicus: I read the same story in “Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex (but were afraid to ask)”. But what I think you’re thinking of is called subincision, where the urethra is slit open. I could be wrong, however.

Regarding the penes of alligators: On Jackass, Chris Pontius was wrestling an alligator. At one point, he was holding it across his chest, belly-out, and the 'gator did indeed have a double penis.

Here’s a link on sexing snakes:

A little graphic but informative

Apparently they sometimes get plugged up and that can be rather disconcerting to the keepers as well as the guy reptile. :eek:


Maybe there is such a thing as too much knowledge; I would have been a happy member of the teeming millions without reading that. Parts of my anatomy are still experiencing twinges at the thought!

       A cross-legged Scruff

Scruff, I thought that quote was pretty tame compared to this tidbit:


I’ve noticed that every thread on dogs quickly metamorphosizes into people talking about their cats.

I’ve also noticed now that any thread about the human reproductive system quickly becomes about guys and their dicks. Now, it’s non-human anatomy, too! :smiley:

“Never underestimate the power of the penis” - Xander Harris, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER

I’m not sure what you saw, but crocodilians are not set up like lizards.

From Handbook of Alligators and Crocodiles, 1991:

Turtles also have a single penis. Lizards and snakes are the only ‘amniote’ vertebrates (reptiles, birds, and mammals) that have paired penises. The Tuatara of New Zealand, which looks like a lizard but isn’t, has something like a vestigial version of hemipenes, but not really comparable to the lizard/snake situation.

Note that the marsupial condition does not constitute having two penises, merely a single penis that is split at the tip into two forks.