September 29, 2010
There Once Was a Squirrel from Nantucket…

The question raised but not answered in this don’t-miss story from Discover Magazine is whether these overendowed squirrels experience lust while masturbating.

If so, Christine O’Donnell wants you to know that when that last nut is harvested you’ll go straight to squirrel hell.

If you have no lust in your heart, however, prospects brighten. Christine will be totally okay with your little auto-fellatio games, and you will ascend post-death to squirrel heaven.

These mighty genitals suggest that sex, and sperm in particular, is a serious business for Cape ground squirrels. To get the best odds of fathering the next generation, they need to ensure that it’s their sperm that fertilises the female’s eggs and not those of rivals. So they make a lot of it; hence, the oversized testicles.

With sperm being so important, it’s odd that some Cape ground squirrels regularly waste theirs. Yet that’s exactly what Jane Waterman saw while studying wild squirrels in Namibia. Some of them would masturbate, apparently squandering their precious sperm. What does squirrel masturbation look like? Apparently, it’s rather acrobatic…

The final explanation is that masturbation is actually a form of self-medication. By cleaning their genitals, males reduce their odds of contracting a sexually transmitted infection. It’s a new hypothesis that Waterman herself put forward, but it’s the only one that actually fits with all of her data…


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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at September 29, 2010 05:22 PM
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