Ducks With Colorful Bills Have Fewer STDs


Ducks’ semen is pretty special, but you already knew that. It has the ability to kill bacteria that damages sperm and causes disease. The BBC reports that scientists have now found that male ducks with more vibrant bills have semen that is more effective at killing bacteria than ducks with duller bills. How did they discover this? Research, you sicko.

The University of Oslo’s Dr. Melissah Rowe led the research team that recently published their findings:

“Sexual colouration may reflect a male’s ability to kill ejaculate-borne bacteria and thus defend sperm from bacteria-induced damage. Females might be able to identify males with high ejaculate antibacterial activity. By doing so they may be able to avoid sexual transmission of pathogenic bacteria and copulate with males whose sperm suffer less bacteria-induced damage.”

Meanwhile, ducks who wear short-billed hats cocked sideways never get laid at all.

Besides having bacteria-killing sperm, mallards also have corkscrew penises, making their junk some of the most unique junk in all of nature.

Next time you’re at the club and some smooth-talking duck with a dull-colored bill starts telling you he works at Goldman and drives a 5-Series, please remember what you’ve learned here today.

Colourful-billed mallard ducks have fewer STDs [BBC]


This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 14, 2011

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