The Sex Life of Birds, and Why It’s Important

June 6, 2013 4:08 PM

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The Sex Life of Birds, and Why It’s Important

In other lineages of birds, however, the penis simply vanished. Of the 10,000 species of birds on Earth, 97 percent reproduce without using the organ. “That’s shocking, when you think about it,” says Martin Cohn, a biologist at the University of Florida.

Research on the sex life of birds has come under fire from critics who claim that it’s unimportant and a waste of federal money, particularly in times of lean spending. In April the criticism from Fox News and conservative pundits became so intense that Patricia Brennan, an expert on bird genitalia ...

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