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2009 | 58 | 1-2 | 179-185
Article title

Zróżnicowanie kości prącia (os penis) u ssaków - filogeneza i ekologia

Title variants
Variability of the mammalian os penis - phylogenesis and ecology
Languages of publication
The penis bone (also called as baculum or os penis) is a heterotopic bone occurring in such orders like: carnivores, bats, insectivores, rodents and some primates. Baculum is extremely morphologically diverse both in shape and size, even between closely related species. Hence it has been widely used as a systematic tool. Consequently, os penis serves different functions across the species: e.g. stimulation of reproductive track, mechanical support, protection of the urethra from compression. Some analysis suggest also, that hooked tip of the penis bone can be used to damage and remove sperm which comes from the previous male. It can be also used as an indicator of genetic quality in males because it continues growth throughout life. Numerous researches into baculum provide some information about animal evolution, sexual selection and reproductive strategies in the different groups of animal. However, our knowledge about evolution, significance and environmental influence on the os penis seems to be incomplete and needs to be further studied.
Physical description
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  • Baryshnikov G. F., Bininda-emonds O. R. P., Abramov A. V., 2003. Morphological variability and evolution of the baculum (os penis) in Mustelidae (Carnivora). J. Mammol. 84, 673-690.
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  • Ferguson S. H., Larivière S., 2004. Are long penis bones an adaption to high latitude snowy environments? Oikos 105, 255-267.
  • Ferguson S. H., Higdon J. W., Larivière S., 2006. Does seasonality explain the evolution and maintenance of delayed implantation in the family Mustelidae (Mammalia: Carnivora)? Oikos 114, 249-256.
  • Hosken D. J., Jones K. E., Chipperfield K., Dixon A., 2001. Is the os penis sexually selected? Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 50, 450-460.
  • Kelly D. A., 2000. Anatomy of the Baculum-Corpus Cavenrosum Interface in the Norway Rat (Rattus norvegicus), and Implications for Force Transfer During Copulation. J. Morphol. 244, 69-77.
  • Kierdorf U., 1996. Verheilte Baculum-Fraktur bei Einem Iltis (Mustela putorius L.) Z. Jagdwiss. 42, 308-309.
  • Larivière S., Ferguson H., 2002. On the evolution of the mammalian baculum: vaginal friction, prolonged intromission or induced ovulation? Mammal Rev. 32, 283-294.
  • Lűpold S., Mcelligot A. G., Hosken D. J., 2004. Bat genitalia: allometry, variation and good genes. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 83, 497-507.
  • Miller E. H., Burton L. E., 2001. It's all relative: allometry and variation in the baculum (os penis) of the harp seal, Pagophilus groenlandicus (Carnivora: Phocidae). Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 72, 345-355.
  • Miller E. H., Jones L. I., Stenson G. B., 1999. Baculum and testes of the hooded seal (Cystophora cristata): growth and size-scaling and their relationships to sexual selection. J. Zool. Lond. 77, 470-479.
  • Ramm S. A., 2007. Sexual selection and genital evolution in mammals: a phylogenetic analysis of baculum length. Am. Nat. 169, 360-369.
  • Reinwald E., 1961. Über einen weiteren Fall von Fraktur des Baculums beim Fischotter (Lutra l. lutra L.) und die Art. Ihrer Entstehung. Arkiv Zool. 13, 307-310.
  • Szarski H., 1982. Anatomia porównawcza kręgowców. PWN, Warszawa.
  • Walton K. C., 1968. The baculum as an age indicator in the polecat Putorius putorius. J. Zool. 156, 533-536.
  • Wesołowski T., 1999. Reduction of phallus in birds - An avian way to safe sex? J. Avian Biol. 30, 483-485.
Document Type
Publication order reference
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