So let's talk about boners. Whether you have one, like 'em, or find them somewhat disconcerting, chances are that you see the reasoning behind not wanting to have needles stuck inside one. So with a dearth of human volunteers, the biomechanics of tallywackers have to be studied in cadavers and in animal subjects. Just do a google scholar search on Armadillo penis and you'll find scientific filth for days, filth that was funded not because people really cared too much about the state of erections in armadillos but because of the implications it could have for human beings.
|We know you wanted to see one.|
Male ducks can get erections within seconds, often as they are copulating. Research into distributive shock (shock caused by dilation of the blood vessels and resulting drop in blood pressure) could take dramatic steps forward from figuring out how ducks spontaneously pop a full-on erection. Distributive shock can kill you, ergo, duck dick research could save your life.
Only 2-4% of rape attempts result in a fertilized egg in females ducks. A lot of this is due to anatomy, as far as the current research dictates, and while lady humans might not sign up for corkscrew vaginas in order to avoid pregnancy (consensual or otherwise), further research could certainly show a hormone that causes abortions in the case of unwanted duck fetuses - potentially a hormone that could have similar effects in human beings. How will we know, unless we look for it?
Duck penises extend to 8-9 inches in the summer, and shrink to less than an inch in the winter. Yeah, we're pretty positive you can see the obvious benefits to figuring that one out. But there are other potential benefits too - what if that mechanism could shrink or expand other pieces of our anatomy... like say our muffin tops or bellies?
|Boner science saves life!|
|Horseshoe crab milkmaid: a job we do not want.|
So instead of hating on certain scientists' grant success in this dark time for research funding, lets be grateful for the scientific advances we have made, and be optimistic about the cures of the future. And in the meantime, write to your government representatives to let them know that we need to fund science if we want to fund progress, even if it does mean we learn a lot more than we ever expected to about duck dicks along the way.
UPDATE: Patricia Brennan, one of the lead scientists in this research project, has written a fantastic article about the value of her research. Check it out!