Download this stock image: Argentine Lake Duck, male / (Oxyura vittata) / Argentine Blue-bill, Argentine Ruddy Duck - X6MN68 from Alamy's library of millions of … Unusually large testes size, elaborate sexual display repertoires, and a putatively promiscuous mating system offer opportunities for speculation about the relationship between form and function of the unusual penis in this species. The penis of the lake duck is a long corkscrew. 1E). Seven adult male Argentine Lake Ducks were collected early in the breeding season on 22 November 1998 from a small wetland (n = 2) and irrigation canal (n = 5) adjacent to the Río Negro near General Conesa, Río Negro, Argentina (40°04′S, 64°16′W). Genitalia subsequently were removed and further dissected to verify the extent of internal spine-like structures. A small foreskin-like structure with no spines and measuring 7.2 ± 1.3 mm (range 6 to 9 mm) arises dorsally from the base of the penis (see Fig. The genitals of male birds generally are not noted for their size or extravagant ornamentation. Huge collection, amazing choice, 100+ million high quality, affordable RF and RM images. Is it a coincidence that such a large structure has evolved in a diving duck with high wing loading that rarely flies? F., With the exception of a video sequence and numerous observations of copulating Australian Blue-billed Ducks (Oxyura australis) everting and preening (postcopulatory) similar-sized penes (E. Slater and P. J. Fullagar pers. Seven adult male Argentine Lake Ducks were collected early in the breeding season on 22 November 1998 from a small wetland (n = 2) and irrigation canal (n = 5) adjacent to the Río Negro near General Conesa, Río Negro, Argentina (40°04′S, 64°16′W). Each individual possessed a large, well-developed cloacal swelling ventral to the base of the tail (Fig. What needs to be explained is why birds have lost the penis repeatedly, and moreover, why it has been retained or more complexly developed in some groups like waterfowl. Lake ducks are small, around 640 grams (23 oz), and about 40 cm (16 inches) in length. Spines also are arranged along a series of spiral grooves extending the entire length of the everted penis (Fig. annual development vs. year-round maintenance). Like other ducks, in order for fertilization to occur, the male lake duck inserts his penis (sometimes called the male intromittent organ) into the female's oviduct, and sperm travels up the penis to fertilise the female. Die männliches Begattungsorgane der Hausente. Either scenario can be construed as energetically expensive (i.e. When everted, the penis thus conforms to the topology of a two-layered sheath connected to the cloaca at both ends, contiguous at the distal end, with an orifice at the tip and hollow in the middle (see King 1981). Sexual selection and the intromittent organs of birds. McKinney, Seasonal sex characters in birds and their hormonal control. Habitat/Range: - Marshes, lakes, and pools in southern South America - Argentina, and Chile, but some may winter in south-eastern Brazil, and Paraguay. The most notable of these includes a series of shared stereotyped sexual displays that collectively set Oxyura (and probably Nomonyx) apart from all other waterfowl (Carbonell 1983, Marchant and Higgins 1990, McCracken et al. The outer surface of the sheath (which appears inverted in the abdominal cavity) possesses the spines. 1999). Lake duck - Argentijnse stekelstaart - Oxyura vittata on Vimeo The width at the base (the end of the penis visible upon cloacal examination) was 6.5 ± 1.3 mm (range 4.5 to 8 mm). Year-round maintenance may be more probable because Argentine Lake Ducks are likely to be sexually active throughout most of the year, and like other Southern Hemisphere waterfowl, they lack the sharply defined seasons of breeding activity typical of ducks in the far north. Image: Glen Bowman via Flickr. Fairly common locally on lakes with surrounding reeds and wetlands with open water; spends much time sleeping. So, let's review: At the base if the argentine lake duck cock, there is a crown of thorns, followed by a spiralling, corkscrewing, pig-like shaft covered in spines and spikes, followed by a broom. When the penis is flaccid it can store it curled up inside the cloaca. Male ducks are notorious for attempting "forced copulation" with females. Duck penises regrow every mating season. This is … Carcasses were thawed three months later and prepa… Mass (± 50 g) of each bird was measured at the time of collection. More than 500,000 images and video clips online, from tigers to turtles and elephants to sharks. Other sources of information, likewise, suggest that conventional pair bonds do not exist in this group (Matthews and Evans 1974, Siegfried 1976, Ladhams 1977, Gray 1980, Marchant and Higgins 1990). First is the question of size and seasonal recrudescence. comm. Male Ruddy Duck Courtship Display - Duration: 0:30. Fact 1: Duck penises can be very long Duck penises come in all shapes and sizes. Carcasses subsequently were placed on ice, frozen, and exported to the Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science (LSUMNS). 1B). Dissection and preparation of the Argentine Lake Duck's penis reveal a massive structure (approximately equal in length to the Ostrich penis) with a peculiar array of dense spines running the entire length of the organ. aration of the Argentine Lake Duck's penis reveal a massive structure (approximately equal in length to the Ostrich penis) with a peculiar array of dense spines running the entire length of the organ. Internal dissection of the abdominal cavity revealed a far more extensive coiled structure placed slightly to the left of the center axis of the body, anterior to the mass of muscle that encircles the cloaca and adjacent to the intestine. Try to imagine that on a human male, and for the sake of context, imagine it being about eight feet long. 1F). Data set incongruence and correlated character evolution: An example of functional convergence in the hind-limbs of stifftail diving ducks. These displays, which can be quite vigorous and prolonged, typically are performed in the presence of many males and often in arena-like contexts. comm.). For full access to this pdf, sign in to an existing account, or purchase an annual subscription. Møller Eds. For the Argentine Lake Duck, a number of functional questions remain. Limited information about the social behavior and mating habits of Argentine Lake Ducks suggests that peculiarities of size, ornamentation, and the potential for sperm displacement have evolved in conjunction with a promiscuous, group-display mating system. The penis of the Argentine Lake Duck measures approximately half the body length and exhibits proportions comparable to those found in fleas and some nematodes and flies; male genitalia in these invertebrates often exceed the length of the body and can be the most structurally complex organs in the entire body (Hyman 1951, Thornhill and Alcock 1983). Thus, sperm competition probably also explains the contrast between the larger penes of dabbling ducks and the smaller penes of geese. I present here a description of the penis of the Argentine Lake Duck (Oxyura vittata). While most birds don’t have a penis, ducks are one of the few birds that do. The Argentine lake duck has something to quack about. In this respect, a large ornamented penis appears to be a synapomorphic character that sets stifftail ducks apart from other waterfowl. The lowland counterpart to the very similar Andean Duck; the two species may occur together in a few places, but Andean Duck is rare in lowlands, where Lake Duck is the default species. What is novel and fascinating in this species is the relative size (ca. Transactions of the North American Wildlife Conference, The invertebrates: Platyhelminthes and Rhynchocoela, Ruddy Ducks and other stifftails: Their biology and behavior, A.S. King, J. McClelland Eds. An element of female choice also might play a role if changes in physiology and female behavior also affect the outcome of subsequent sperm competition. ; see Marchant and Higgins 1990). Phylogeny and comparative ecology of stiff-tailed ducks (Anatidae: Oxyurini). I thank Daniel Blanco, Raúl Cardón, Claudio Chehébar, Raúl Clarke, Mike Christie, Donna Dittman, Martin Funes, Sergio Goldfeder, Manuel Nores, and Alejandre del Valle for their assistance locating stifftail ducks or help exporting and importing specimens. Image of british, wildlife, nature - 32163411 Mike Grogan offered assistance in the field, and Rich Olsen loaned a shotgun. No other notable traits were revealed by further manipulation of the cloaca. A. D.Afton, Lake Duck Oxyura vittata (Philippi, 1860) kingdom Animalia - animals » phylum Chordata - chordates » class Aves - birds » order Anseriformes » family Anatidae - ducks, geese and swans » genus Oxyura A. D.Afton. A large blood vessel extended along the entire length of the organ. Dabbling ducks show some of the highest levels of forced and unforced extrapair copulations among waterfowl, whereas most geese show low frequencies of extrapair copulations (Mineau and Cooke 1979, McKinney et al. Follet Eds. The male Argentine Lake Duck and his 42.5 cm penis (Pic: K. McCracken/ Nature). Spine density is highest on the ventral side of the penis, and their angles are such that I believe they embed into and clasp the wall of the female cloaca at the point of insertion, whereby the male may evert the remaining length of the penis. Each of the five birds that I dissected appeared to be in breeding condition, as indicated by a bright blue bill, black head, and ruddy breeding plumage. Longitudinal dissection and examination of ornamentation patterns corroborate this hypothesis (Fig. University of British Columbia, Vancouver. King 1981, Briskie and Montgomerie 1997). The lake duck holds the Guinness World Record for having the largest avian reproductive organ, from a specimen in Córdoba, Argentina that had a penis measuring 42.5 centimetres (16.7 in). Size: - Typical Adult is 36-46cm (14-18in). Sex and age determination of waterfowl by cloacal examination. 1C,D). The lake duck (also called Argentine blue-bill) has the largest penis in relation to body size of all vertebrates; while usually about half the body size (20 cm), a specimen with a penis 42.5 cm long is documented. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide, This PDF is available to Subscribers Only. Sperm-removal tactics of this type occur in various elasmobranch fishes and insects (e.g. While 18 inches is the longest pig penis ever observed in nature, their genitalia usually hovers around the 9- to 12-inch range. - Nature Picture Library argentine blue bill At maximum extent, the everted penis can be no longer than one-half the circumference of the loop, or a distance equivalent to the distance from the base to the head of the loop (see Fig. Forced copulation results in few extrapair fertilizations in Ross's and Lesser Snow geese. The testes of birds undergo substantial changes in size, often enlarging greatly during the breeding season and then shrinking to become almost invisible (Witschi 1935, Wingfield and Farner 1980). Lake Duck at WWT Slimbridge. The female is less colorful, with a brown body, white throat, and a white horizontal stripe on the side of the head below the eyes. The base of the penis in this species is generously ornamented with coarse spines, but the distal half is soft and brush-like. During non-breeding season the male looks similar to the female but with some reddish feathers on the body. As one proceeds distally, however, the spines diminish in number, become soft and brush-like, and take on a more ochre color, until at the distal terminus they disappear altogether; at this point the outer sheath inverts to become the inner sheath that extends proximally toward the base of the penis. As such, the presence of a penis in birds is a shared ancestral trait, and an explanation for multiple origins of the avian penis is not necessary. A guide to the snake hemipenis: A survey of basic structure and systematic characteristics. Photo about Lake duck or Argentine Ruddy Duck, Oxyura vittata, single male on water, London, May 2011. Mean testes dimensions were 40.8 ± 3.6 × 17.8 ± 1.8 mm for the left testis and 41.0 ± 2.3 × 17.2 ± 3.1 mm for the right testis (left length testis range 37 to 45 mm, left testis width range 15 to 20 mm; right testis length range 37 to 43 mm, right testis width range 14 to 22 mm; Fig. During non-breeding season the male looks similar to the female but with some reddish feathers on the body. K. G., It also has the longest penis of any vertebrate in relation to body length. P.Mineau. Does sperm proceed via a longitudinal sulcus in the Argentine Lake Duck as it does in other species? In the animal kingdom, ducks and geese are famous for their extra-long penises. Search for other works by this author on: Sperm competition in birds: Evolutionary causes and consequences. S. Karger, Basel, Switzerland. The Argentine Blue-bill or Argentine Lake Duck (Oxyura vittata) can have 42.5 cm (17 inches) long penises, at an average body length of 20 cm (8 inches)! Its penis is a whopping 17 inches long, proportionally the longest of all vertebrates. A report back in 2011 in Nature described this animal as having the longest bird penis on … Dissection revealed that the cloacal swelling is composed primarily of a large ring of muscle; the base of the penis, seminal vesicles, and intestine are embedded within this muscle and constitute the remainder of the cloacal mass. Manual eversion beyond a couple centimeters, however, was not possible. In both cases, the comparative method has the potential to bring to light interesting social and ecological correlates that evolved in tandem with the avian penis. 1999; see also Livezey 1995, Johnsgard and Carbonell 1996). Food: - Aquatic plants, seeds, aquatic insects, larvae, crustaceans and molluscs. Social organization in Ruddy and Maccoa ducks. 1B). Eversion to a centimeter or so, nonetheless, revealed a dense array of black-tipped, white spines at the base of the penis. M. L.Gloutney, and I made a series of photographs from the second specimen to document both the position and conformation within the abdomen; dissection of the other four specimens revealed approximately identical features and no need for further photographs. Carcasses subsequently were placed on ice, frozen, and exported to the Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science (LSUMNS). comm. Appearance: Male - The male Lake Duck in breeding season has a deep chestnut body, a black head and neck, a blue beak, brown eyes, whitish abdomen, grey tail, dark-brown wings, and the legs and feet are dark grey. Dual function of the damselfly penis: Sperm removal and transfer. Sperm competition in insects: Mechanisms and the potential for selection. Besides having an extremely long corkscrewed penis, the head of the penis is also has bristle tips. While most male birds have no external genitalia, male waterfowl have a phallus. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, A.S. Parkes Ed. Another example of well-equipped males is the Argentine Lake Duck (Oxyura vittata). Geometric relationships of the loop structure, nonetheless, predict what the penis should look like in its erect conformation. Teasing apart the two processes can be difficult, however, particularly when the contest occurs inside the female. Several groups of birds, including ratites, screamers, waterfowl, and cracids, possess well-developed male copulatory organs (Forbes 1882, King 1981, Lake 1981). Does the Argentine Lake Duck penis recrudesce after the breeding season in a similar fashion, and if so, do the same hormones that regulate the testes cycle control the seasonal development of the penis? Conservation status (IUCN 3.1): Black pigments in the spines on the external surface of the penis, likewise, were visible from the abdominal surface, thus imparting a mottled gray appearance to the basal half of the penis; the distal half of the penis was more flesh-colored. 1999). Genitalia and testes subsequently were fixed in 10% formaldehyde, preserved in 70% ethanol, and deposited at the Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science. Ducks are known to detain the record of penis size amongst vertebrates, compared to … One last functional question concerns the topic of sperm displacement. The Argentine lake duck (Oxyura vittata) from South America boasts the longest duck penis ever recorded. Nature Picture Library offers the best nature photographs and footage from the world's finest photographers, to license for commercial and creative use. Control of seasonal reproduction in temperate zone birds. Manually everting the organ in its erect conformation proved impossible given the absence of a vascular eversion mechanism (King 1981). Academic Press, London. © The American Ornithologists' Union, 2000, 2020 AOS William Brewster Memorial Awards to Regina Macedo, 2020 AOS William Brewster Memorial Award to John Rotenberry, 2020 Ralph W. Schreiber Conservation Award to Jaime Collazo, About the American Ornithological Society, Receive exclusive offers and updates from Oxford Academic, Copyright © 2020 American Ornithological Society. ... Lake Duck or Argentine Ruddy Duck 2 militaryairshows. From this point distally, the penis tapered gradually to the opposite end where it inserted the cloaca ventral to the insertion point of the base of the penis. Dunn, Present address: University of Alaska Museum, 907 Yukon Drive, Fairbanks, Alaska 99775, USA. At this juncture, the width of the penis tube was 3.4 ± 0.5 mm (range 3 to 4 mm). In fact, when extended, the usually coiled penis of the Argentine lake duck is longer than the bird itself. Why has such a large spiny penis developed (or been maintained) in this particular species? D. A.McClellan, and   Least Concern. Notes: - The Lake Duck is also sometimes called the Argentine Ruddy Duck, Argentine Blue-billed Duck, or Argentine Blue-bill and is a South American stiff-tail duck. I was not able to identify the opening of the sperm duct, so the question remains unanswered. Hochbaum 1942). The penis of an Ostrich (Struthio camelus), for example, can measure as long as 20 cm when flaccid and is bright red in color (King 1981). 1F). Reproduction, energetics, and social structure of the Ruddy Duck. 1983; but see Dunn et al. The comparative morphology of the secondary sexual characters of elasmobranch fishes. An unpaired male mallard (drake) attacks a hen, trying to force her to mate -- a struggle to escape ensues No need to register, buy now! Male - The male Lake Duck in breeding season has a deep chestnut body, a black head and neck, a blue beak, brown eyes, whitish abdomen, grey tail, dark-brown wings, and the legs and feet are dark grey. In these groups, the penis (or male intromittent organ) arises from the ventral wall of the cloaca and generally is believed to facilitate sperm transfer via a series of longitudinal grooves (internal sperm ducts homologous to those in mammals are not present in birds). comm. At the base of the penis, the spines are hardened and sharp. Handbook of Australia, New Zealand, and Antarctic birds. After discovering unusually large cloacal swellings and correspondingly large penes in the first two specimens, I dissected and measured the intromittent organs and testes of the five birds collected on the canal (LSUMNS B34019, B34025, B34034, B34036, B34037). Pair bonds that have been observed probably reflect nothing more than short-term relationships for copulation or mate guarding. Similar causal mechanisms also might be postulated for the relative mass of the testes in this species, which ranks among the top 18% of birds (Møller 1991, P. Dunn unpubl. Birkhead, A.P. Excellent potential certainly exists for a comparative study of penis morphology across waterfowl species and the investigation of other potentially correlated traits such as mating system, testes size, and the incidence of forced or extrapair copulations. The effects of sperm competition on testes size and intromittent organ morphology in waterfowl. Geese, which tend to copulate on land, typically possess much smaller penes, even though their overall body size is larger (Coker 1998). Female - The female has a dark-brown head with a whitish lower head and foreneck, a whitish stripe under the eye, dark-grey beak, and brown body. Mass of the two testes combined averaged 10.8 ± 3.1 g (range 8.2 to 15.6 g), or 1.7 ± 0.5% of total body mass (range 1.4 to 2.4%). R.J. Reiter, B.K. Argentine lake duck Shaped like a corkscrew, some Argentine lake duck species have penises that can extend over 16 inches (42.5 centimeters). Other birds lack sperm ducts in their penes, and instead rely on spiral grooves to channel the flow of sperm. Duffy Duck wages a tough war, but rather with his own wife than with Bugs Bunny. Comparative studies of stiff-tailed ducks (tribe Oxyurini: Anatidae). However, longitudinal dissection and subsequent inversion of the outer surface to view the inner surface revealed what is believed to be a close approximation of the everted, but nonetheless flaccid conformation (see below). Male bowerbirds … Total length of the penis tube as measured from the base of the cloaca to the bend of the loop was 22.3 ± 2.1 cm (range 19.0 to 24.5 cm; Fig. data). However, it is not known whether the penes of any waterfowl species recrudesce seasonally. 1E). Carcasses were thawed three months later and prepared as museum skins (n = 6) and a skeletal specimen (n = 1). Like other stifftails (Nomonyx and Oxyura), the Argentine Lake Duck is nested within a clade of promiscuous, dichromatic congeners that share many derived social and morphological characters (McCracken et al. Mass (± 50 g) of each bird was measured at the time of collection. Masses averaged 5.4 ± 1.3 g for the left testis and 5.4 ± 1.9 g for the right testis (left testis range 4.3 to 7.0 g; right testis range 3.9 to 8.6 g). Mechanical eversion of the penis in its erect conformation was not possible given its unusual length and narrow width. However, the extent to which female choice has factored importantly in development of this trait is unknown. Without regard to size, such structures are uncommon in birds but are present in nonavian groups including crocodiles and turtles (King 1981). Kevin G. McCracken, The 20-cm Spiny Penis of the Argentine Lake Duck (Oxyura vittata), The Auk, Volume 117, Issue 3, 1 July 2000, Pages 820–825, https://doi.org/10.1093/auk/117.3.820. In the case of the diminutive Argentine lake duck, the penis is longer than the duck itself—more than sixteen inches. A duck penis can measure anywhere between 1.25 centimetres, to over 40 centimetres long. https://www.sciencephoto.com/media/993286/view/argentine-lake-duck-pair- Another question that comes to mind concerns sperm flow and ejaculation. Appearance: R. T.Alisauskas. ), no records detailing the size, texture, or conformation of this structure within the abdomen are known to exist. North American scientists have discovered the longest bird penis ever - a 42.5cm organ belonging to a duck. Leigh-Sharpe 1922, Simmons and Siva-Jothy 1998). Jenaische Zeitschrift für Naturwissenschaften. Collection was made possible by the Centro de Ecología Aplicada del Neuquén, Delegación Regional Patagonia, Administración de Parques Nacionales, Dirección de Fauna y Flora Silvestre del Argentina, Dirección de Fauna Silvestre del Chubut, Dirección de Fauna Silvestre del Río Negro, Dirección de Fauna Silvestre del Santa Cruz, Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, College of Agriculture, Museum of Natural Science, and School of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries. The inner surface is not visible in this conformation but forms a hollow tube running the entire internal length of the penis. Females also might choose among males in yet another manner, based on the size and appearance of the penis itself (Briskie and Montgomerie 1997). obs., R. B Brau pers. Male dinosaurs must have had the equipment for internal fertilization. On the behaviour of the White-headed Duck with special reference to breeding. Classification: - Family: Anatidae, Subfamily: Oxyurinae, Genus: Oxyura. Another probable, but not necessarily exclusive, explanation is that large ornamented penes have evolved in response to sperm competition within the female reproductive tract, such that males with larger penes achieve greater reproductive success than others (Waage 1979, Thornhill and Alcock 1983, Eberhard 1985). P. O., Photographs of the testes and genitalia of a male Argentine Lake Duck (LSUMNS B34025) collected near General Conesa, Río Negro, Argentina, including (A) right and left testes as viewed from the ventral surface of the abdomen, anterior margin at top; (B) cloacal area with skin removed to reveal cloacal muscle ring, everted base of penis sheath, and foreskin, dorsal margin at right; (C) folded penis enclosed in two-layered peritoneal membrane as viewed from the ventral surface of the abdomen, anterior margin at top; (D) folded penis with membranes removed to reveal internal conformation, posterior margin at lower left; (E) unraveled penis loop and dissected cloacal muscle ring as viewed from the ventral surface, posterior margin at right; (F) outer surface of the penis sheath as it might appear in the everted but nonetheless flaccid conformation arranged to reveal spines and ornamentation patterns, proximal margin at bottom. ; see also Marchant and Higgins 1990), and unpublished observations of similar intromittent organs in Ruddy Ducks (Oxyura jamaicensis; R. B. Brua pers. T.R. Sperm transfer occurs via the mutual juxtaposition of the protruded cloacae, and there is relatively little contact between males and females compared with the process of coital penetration in mammals, reptiles, some species of fish, and most insects (Eckstein and Zuckerman 1956, Dowling and Savage 1960, Eberhard 1985). S. R.Derrickson, and The probability that the complexity of this organ developed in response to male competition for limited access to females also seems high given the obvious social and phylogenetic correlates (Birkhead and Møller 1992, Briskie and Montgomerie 1997). Probably reflect nothing more than short-term relationships for copulation or mate guarding: University of oxford Lake! Wages a tough war, but rather with his own wife than with Bugs Bunny Duck has something quack... Waterfowl by cloacal examination question that comes to mind concerns sperm flow and ejaculation species is ornamented... 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Secondary sexual characters of elasmobranch fishes and insects ( e.g once the season ends, the penis is corkscrew-shaped retracts... The everted penis ( outer sheath ), the spines, but distal! Coincidence that such a large, well-developed penes or intromittent organs are present in other species, the. Half the body until it ’ s 10 per cent of its full-grown size and.. And footage from the world 's finest photographers, to over 40 centimetres long B. pers. Has a black head, reddish-brown body, and Fisheries, Louisiana State Museum... Functional convergence in the hind-limbs of stifftail diving ducks try to imagine on..., Genus: Oxyura boasts the longest of all vertebrates further manipulation of the penis is clearly prior...