The Age of Exploration brought Europeans riches, a broader view of the world, and a hell of a lot of new plants and animals to describe. That was heaven for Carl Linnaeus, a young Swedish doctor with a passion for plants. »
Human testes are masters of mass production, spitting out sperm at a rate of 200 million per day. But that doesn’t mean the process is fast–it takes 64 days to make a sperm. The organ keeps the count high with an assembly-line anatomy that scales up sperm development from a trickle to a flood. »
It’s normal for a penis to curve a little when it’s erect, but Peyronie’s disease pushes that curve to alarming extremes. It doesn’t usually muck with a guy’s ability to get it up, but once the penis is erect, it can deviate 30° or more from its normal line of action. The curvature can be so severe it interferes with… »
In this TED-Ed episode, we hear in delightfully morbid detail how the ancient Egyptians mummified their dead. Drain the brain, bottle the organs, salt the body and entomb for thousands of years. Simple as that! »
Your spam folder is probably full of the offers. (Mine certainly is.) But none of the emails promising to let you “please your partner” by making you a “giant for girls” with “strong erections” say a thing about how the penis gets erect in the first place. Here’s how it really works. »
Sexual selection doesn’t necessarily just shape sexual anatomy – it can have as profound an effect on the rest of an animal’s body as natural selection does. In both cases, the end result is more babies for animals that look or act a particular way. »
When I was in graduate school, I wondered what changes made erectile tissue in the penis shift from its soft and flexible state to its stiff and inextensible state. Then, with the help of some armadillos, I did the research and figured it out. Tell me what you wonder about, and I’ll see whether I can figure it out for… »
People have always wondered about sex, and as literacy became more widespread over the course of the seventeenth century in England, books appeared to feed that curiosity.
One of the biggest challenges for scientists studying the anatomy and physiology of genitalia is the fact that much of the real functional action happens deep inside females. It’s hard to see what’s going on in there. That’s why I love studies that rise to the challenge of giving us a peek inside. »
That dopey face your cat makes—its mouth half-open, its lips curled awkwardly away from its teeth—has a name. It’s called the flehmen response, and yes, it looks ridiculous. But for many mammals, it’s a critical part of their sex life. »
If you were a midwife or a doctor attending childbirths during the 17th century, you might have owned a tiny anatomically correct doll like this one. Carved from ivory by German, French or Italian craftsmen, these tiny anatomical manikins opened to reveal the normal arrangement of human organs, including the lungs,… »
Most of us would rather not think about what happens to our bodies after death. But that breakdown gives birth to new life in unexpected ways, writes Moheb Costandi.
Most of the time, the male Superb Bird of Paradise is a fairly nondescript black bird. But when it tries to attract a mate, it flips its feathers around to create a fluorescent kabuki mask that you’ll never forget. In this video, ornithologist Ed Scholes explains how the bird creates the illusion.
Here we see an impressive, but chinless, Neandertal skull and a puny, but bechinned, human skull. Why do we have weird, low, skull ridge? We don't know, but we know one of the reasons why we shouldn't have it. »
Researchers used computer models and high-powered simulations to confirm that whales' skulls have evolved to act "like an acoustic antenna," amplifying and transmitting low-frequency sounds (hypothesized to be important in long-range communication) toward the ears. »
Japanese chef Takayo "Tama-cha" Kiyota uses carefully arranged food to create cross-sectional sushi-roll art. Her subjects include everything from popular iconography to Japanese demons, but I'm particularly impressed by the rolls with some scientific flair. This single roll depicts different stages of embryological… »
A major brain pathway first described in an 1881 neuroanatomy atlas — and then completely forgotten — has been rediscovered and confirmed by scientists using modern scanning techniques. »
It didn't end up looking like the "major award" from A Christmas Story, but a Dutch man succeeded in turning his amputated leg into a floor lamp. But not before engaging in a battle with the hospital over what he could and couldn't do with his own disembodied body part. »