Scientists Find Earliest Known Penis

ByABC News

Sept. 15, 2002 -- Possibly the world's oldest penis — over 100 million years old — was found on a recently discovered fossil of an ostracod, an early crustacean, related to crabs, shrimps, and water fleas, according to and Reuters.

"To my knowledge, it is the oldest penis. I don't know of any older," said Professor David Siveter, of the University of Leicester in England.

Siveter was presenting his research on the fossil, found in Brazil, to the British Association Festival of Science.

Ironically, this discovery was made on the fossil of a tiny marine creature, measuring about one millimeter wide, rather than on any of the giant metaphors of machismo, better known as dinosaurs, who shared the planet at the same time.

Existing dinosaur fossils are of bones, not of soft tissue.

Still, it shouldn't come as too big a surprise given the ostracod's claim to fame. Proportionally, they have the biggest sperm-to-body ratio in the animal kingdom, according to Reuters.

The fossil did yield one seemingly big surprise. According to Siveter, an expert in paleontology. "It doesn't have one penis, it has two."

Penis Parts

In a somewhat related story, scientists in the U.S. have made medical progress in an area that may help millions of men. They have succeeded in growing major parts of penises in the laboratory.

According to Reuters, the test tube penile parts were successfully used to rebuild the members of rabbits who, after rest and recuperation, "put them to the use that rabbits are famous for."

The experiments were conducted by a team at Harvard Medical School. Anthony Atala, who headed the team, cautioned that the technique was at an early stage, and would take time before being tried on humans.

This story was produced for by Mark King.

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