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Encyclopedia > Baculum

The baculum (also penis bone, penile bone or os penis) is a bone found in the penis of most mammals. It is absent in humans, equids, marsupials, lagomorphs, and hyenas, amongst others. It is used for copulation and varies in size and shape by species. Its characteristics are sometimes used to differentiate between similar species. Grays Anatomy illustration of a human femur. ... The penis (plural penises, penes) is an external male sexual organ. ... Subclasses & Infraclasses Subclass †Allotheria* Subclass Prototheria Subclass Theria Infraclass †Trituberculata Infraclass Metatheria Infraclass Eutheria Mammals (class Mammalia) are warm-blooded, vertebrate animals characterized by the production of milk in female mammary glands and by the presence of: hair, three middle ear bones used in hearing, and a neocortex region in... Trinomial name Homo sapiens sapiens Linnaeus, 1758 Humans, or human beings, are bipedal primates belonging to the mammalian species Homo sapiens (Latin: wise man or knowing man) in the family Hominidae (the great apes). ... Species - Donkey - African Wild Ass - Domestic Horse - Wild Horse - Grevys Zebra - Onager - Kiang - Plains Zebra - Cape Mountain Zebra - Hartmanns Mountain Zebra Equidae is the family of horse-like animals, order Perissodactyla. ... Orders Didelphimorphia Paucituberculata Microbiotheria Dasyuromorphia Peramelemorphia Notoryctemorphia Diprotodontia Sparassodonta (extinct) Marsupials are mammals in which the female typically has a pouch (called the marsupium, from which the name Marsupial derives) in which it rears its young through early infancy. ... Families Leporidae Ochotonidae The Lagomorphs, order Lagomorpha, are an order of mammals of which there are two families, Leporidae (hares and rabbits), and Ochotonidae (pikas). ... Subfamilies and Genera Hyaenidae Crocuta Hyaena Parahyaena Protelinae Proteles Hyenas or Hyænas are moderately large terrestrial carnivores native to Africa, Arabia, Asia and the Indian subcontinent. ... It has been suggested that Duration of sexual intercourse be merged into this article or section. ... In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biodiversity. ...

The oosik of Native Alaskan cultures is a polished and sometimes carved baculum of various large northern carnivores such as walruses. The raccoon baculum is sometimes worn as a luck or fertility charm. Oosik is a term used in Alaska to describe the penile bone of the walrus. ... A raccoon penis bone is the baculum of a raccoon. ...

The word baculum originally meant "stick" or "staff" in Latin. The homologue to the baculum in female mammals is known as the baubellum or os clitoridis. Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... In biology, homology is any similarity between structures that is due to their shared ancestry. ...

Clellan S. Ford and Frank A Beach, Patterns of Sexual Behavior, p. 30 says "Both gorillas and chimpanzees possess a penile bone. In the latter species the os penis is located in the lower part of the organ and measures approximately three-quarters of an inch in length."

In humans, which lack the baculum and baubellum, the rigidity of the erection is provided entirely through blood pressure in the corpus cavernosum. Humans occasionally are born with the penile bone. It is generally surgically removed. The erection of the penis, clitoris or a nipple is its enlarged and firm state. ... A corpus cavernosum is one of a pair of a sponge-like regions of erectile tissue which contain most of the blood in the male penis during erection. ...



Penis bone (Os penis) of a dog, arrow shows the urethral sulcus.
Penis bone (Os penis) of a dog, arrow shows the urethral sulcus.

Animals with a penile bone include: Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Male anatomy Female anatomy In anatomy, the urethra is a tube which connects the urinary bladder to the outside of the body. ... A sulcus (pl. ...

Families 15, See classification A primate is any member of the biological order Primates, the group that contains all the species commonly related to the lemurs, monkeys, and apes, with the latter category including humans. ... Genera Alopex Atelocynus Canis Cerdocyon Chrysocyon Cuon Cynotherium † Dusicyon † Dasycyon † Fennecus (Part of Vulpes) Lycalopex (Part of Pseudalopex) Lycaon Nyctereutes Otocyon Pseudalopex Speothos Urocyon Vulpes The Canidae (′kanə′dē) family is a part of the order Carnivora within the mammals (Class Mammalia). ... “Feline” redirects here. ... Species 50 species; see text *Several subfamilies of Muroids include animals called rats. ... Binomial name (Linnaeus, 1758) Distribution of Walrus Subspecies Walruses (Odobenus rosmarus) are large semi-aquatic mammals that live in the cold Arctic seas of the Northern Hemisphere. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Common Raccoon. ...

Explanation of its absence in humans

The zoologist Richard Dawkins speculated in 2006, that the loss of the bone in humans, when it is present in our nearest related species the chimpanzee, is probably a result of sexual selection by females looking for signs of good health in prospective mates. The reliance of the human penis solely on hydraulic means to achieve a rigid state makes it particularly vulnerable to blood pressure variation. Poor erectile function betrays not only physical states such as diabetes and neurological disorders but mental states such as stress and depression. Clinton Richard Dawkins (born March 26, 1941) is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and popular science writer who holds the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. ... Type species Simia troglodytes Blumenbach, 1775 distribution of Species Pan troglodytes Pan paniscus Chimpanzee, often shortened to chimp, is the common name for the two extant species in the genus Pan. ... Illustration from The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex by Charles Darwin showing the Tufted Coquette Lophornis ornatus, female on left, ornamented male on right. ... Hydraulics is a branch of science and engineering concerned with the use of liquids to perform mechanical tasks. ...


Biblical note

In the Bible's Book of Genesis, Adam's rib is removed to create Eve. Biblical Hebrew does not have a word for penis. Some (Gilbert and Zevit 2001) have suggested this story is an explanatory myth to explain the absence of a baculum in the male human, rather than a missing rib (in light of the fact that men and women have the same number of ribs). This Gutenberg Bible is displayed by the United States Library. ... Genesis (Greek: Γένεσις, having the meanings of birth, creation, cause, beginning, source and origin) is the first book of the Torah (five books of Moses) and hence the first book of the Tanakh, part of the Hebrew Bible; it is also the first book of the Christian Old Testament. ... Michelangelos Creation of Adam, from the Sistine Chapel. ... Michelangelos Creation of Adam, from the Sistine Chapel. ... “Hebrew” redirects here. ... The penis (plural penises, penes) is an external male sexual organ. ...

See also

  • Oosik
  • Raccoon penis bone

Oosik is a term used in Alaska to describe the penile bone of the walrus. ... A raccoon penis bone is the baculum of a raccoon. ...


  1. ^ Dawkins, Richard [1978] (2006). The Selfish Gene, 30th anniversary edition, p158 endnote. ISBN 0199291144. ““It is not implausible that , with natural selection refining their diagnostic skills, females could glean all sorts of clues about a male’s health, and robustness of his ability to cope with stress, from the tone and bearing of his penis.”” 
  • Gilbert, Scott F. and Ziony Zevit. 2001. Congenital human baculum deficiency: The generative bone of Genesis 2:21–23. American Journal of Medical Genetics 101(3): 284–285.
  • Clellan S. And Frank A. Beach 1951 Patterns of Sexual Behavior Publisher: N.Y., Harper, and Paul B. Hoeber, Inc. Medical Books (ISBN 0313223556)

Clinton Richard Dawkins (born March 26, 1941) is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and popular science writer who holds the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. ...

External links

  • Beresford WA, Burkart S. The penile bone and anterior process of the rat in scanning electron microscopy. J Anat. 1977 Dec;124(3):589–97.
  • The San Diego Zoo's Conservation and research for endangered species projects. 'What is the significance of the baculum in animals?'
  • The baculum as "Adam's rib"
  • The baculum making headlines

  Results from FactBites:
CRES Projects: What is the Role of the Baculum in Reproduction? (307 words)
Baculum lengths and adult body weights for adult males of 315 species of carnivores, bats, and primates were analyzed to control for effects of body weight and phylogeny.
It is unlikely that baculum length is correlated with the occurrence of induced ovulation in mammals, however.
The functions of the baculum during intromission may include strengthening of the penis and protection of the urethra during extended intromissions or facilitation of sperm transport within the female's reproductive tract.
baculum - What is a(n) baculum | Encyclopedia.com: Dictionary Of Zoology (645 words)
Kelly has a pair of mink baculum earrings she wears when she lectures.) That the baculum is so common suggests that it performs some...
The fossilized baculum, or penis bone, is from a species of walrus that went extinct 12,000 years ago.
The baculum consisted of a flat rod approximately 4 feet in length with...
  More results at FactBites »



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