Animal’s Daily Tiny Pairs News

Before we get started on this… topic, check out the latest installment of Barrett’s Privateers – Plague Ship over at Glibertarians!

Now then: It seems that, besides their huge body size, gorillas have really small testicles – and so do humans.  Wow.  Just… wow.

Is there anything more quintessentially masculine than a silverback gorilla? Broad and barrel-chested, with sculpted arms and legs as thick as tree trunks, these adult males are imposing sights. But a quick glance between their legs greatly diminishes the awe…

That’s because male gorilla testicles weigh a mere 30 to 35 grams, positively puny compared to their hulking 350-pound frames (159kg). And their erect members flex just two and a half inches.

At less than half the body weight of gorillas, chimpanzees sport testicles weighing five times more! And the chimp penis can be as long as an average human’s (a little over five inches).

So where do human men stack up in this “pissing” battle between primate cousins? Much closer to gorillas. The testicles of adult men tip the scales at about 20 grams. Relative to body weight, that’s three times larger than gorillas’ but five times smaller than chimpanzees’.

It turns out that this might be due to monogamy – or, at least, serial monogamy – which is traditional for humans.

Over humans’ evolutionary history, we have tended to practice either polygyny (like gorillas) or monogamy. In both mating styles, reproductive competition takes place outside the body rather than inside, meaning that males don’t need the sort of sexual machinery seen amongst chimpanzees.

I’m not sure what to do with this information.

All I will say about this story is this:  There are only two people I need to keep happy with my manly bits.  I’m one of them.  My own dear Mrs. Animal is the other.  And neither of us is complaining.  And while I may not have the testicular capacity of a chimp, at least I have (marginally) better table manners and social skills.

Science is fun.  Examining our closest relatives is interesting.  Sometimes, though, such an examination can be a little… (forgive me) nuts.