World’s Oldest Penis

Yes, you read that right: At €S we’re transitioning from fun-and-games (namely three straight entries chronicling reaction in the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, and Germany to their placement in the same group at next summer’s European Cup in Portugal) to the sort of solemn contemplation of rather more serious subjects that you’ve come to expect on these pages. But one last detour – please! “All work and no play,” you know – to this brief article in Belgium’s Flemish-language newspaper De Standaard, World’s Oldest Penis Discovered (subscription required).

On closer inspection, although we are dealing here with something very old – 425 million years old, to be somewhat more exact – it’s also very small. Indeed, you’d think that the reporter would have been content simply to clam up about it, were not the subject at issue here in fact a clam, a five-centimeter love-mussel discovered recently in Hertfordshire, in England. It has caused a bit of scientific sensation for the light it sheds on the physiology of modern-day mollusks. Although the find has provided precious little new information on ancient shellfish sexual behavior (we can only assume they were “bi” – “bivalve,” that is), the structure of that particular organ is so similar to the corresponding parts of its modern counterparts as to suggest that the species as a whole has benefited from only quite minimal development through the millions of years. “Evolution has made no impression on these guys,” exclaimed Tom Cronin, a scientist for the Geological Survey. “Tell me about it!” respond untold legions of women the world over.

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