back to article Biologists gasp at lemur's improbably colossal bollocks

Scientists are marvelling at a lemur with testicles so large that were a human chap to carry equivalent plums in his trouser department, they'd be the size of a couple of grapefruit. The average male northern giant mouse lemur (Mirza zaza) tips the scales at just 280g, but has "an average testes volume of 15.48 cubic …

  1. Graham Marsden
    Trollface

    To everyone who's about to comment:

    We don't believe you!

    (ADDENDUM - Unless your name is Buster Gonad, of course)

    1. Arctic fox
      Unhappy

      Re: "To everyone who's about to comment:" Actually I am, for one, highly relieved...........

      ...........that I am not equipped on that scale. Can you imagine trying to do up your favourite pair of Levis? Choice of icon? My eyes are already watering at the thought.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "To everyone who's about to comment:" Actually I am, for one, highly relieved...........

        Mucho moons ago my best mate had the snip, however, for whatever reason something went a bit pete tong, his chicken skin purse started to slowly fill with blood. As well as immense swelling his knackers were blue black, like a giant bruise and I shit you not folks when I say his scrotum was the size of a grapefruit... Off to A&E we went tout suite.

        So, drain fitted, swelling resolved. Few weeks later, time to have drain removed, however, the drain has somehow become attached internally, like tissue has grown over/around it. His missus and myself heard that poor bastard let loose a proper blood curdling scream when that was removed with no anaesthetic...

        Makes me wince to this day.

    2. TheVogon

      Re: To everyone who's about to comment:

      "Scientists are marvelling at a lemur with testicles so large that were a human chap to carry equivalent plums in his trouser department, they'd be the size of a couple of grapefruit."

      What a load of bollocks. They obviously havnt seen http://assets.noisey.com/content-images/contentimage/no-slug/b6afea3169d545ae15a1d6aaeb718044.jpg (NSFW)

  2. Turtle

    Tanuki.

    The Japanese tanuki is also known for the same thing. I don't know whose is bigger. I also don't know how much folklore concerns lemurs but there's quite a bit concerning tanuki. Apparently statues of tanuki are very popular in Japan.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_raccoon_dog - and of course look at the pictures.

    1. Compression Artifact

      Re: Tanuki.

      "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_raccoon_dog - and of course look at the pictures."

      And check out the song lyrics in Section 4.2.

      Hear it performed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKPiHwlct7k

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hamsters are also pretty impressive on a ratio basis. Anyway, you have to respect a mammal that uses it's own nuts as a stool.

    1. frank ly

      "stool"? More like bean bags. Nature invents everything before we do.

  4. Number6

    This is the sort of weekend bollocks we've come to expect from El Reg.

    1. Martin Summers Silver badge

      Hey no need to get teste!

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Trollface

      Oh I don't know, I can think of At least One contributor to El Reg that publishes improbably colossal weekday bollocks too.

  5. TitterYeNot

    AKA the Madagascarin space-hopper

    I feel sorry for the guy holding that lemur by the neck. If I came across a creature with such colossal cojones I'd be shaking it by the hand and calling it 'Sir'...

    1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge
      IT Angle

      I feel sorry for the guy holding that lemur

      Does he not know what nocturnal emissions are?

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: AKA the Madagascarin space-hopper

      If I were holding something with eyes that were bugged out like that I'd be shit scared to let go unless I was in Kevlar...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Beagles...

    I estimate that male beagle testes account for a smidge under 10% of their body mass.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Meh

    Andrew Orlowski's articles have a larger percentage of bollocks.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. phil dude
    Joke

    Buster Gonad....

    and his unfeasibly large....

    P.

    1. Toastan Buttar

      Re: Buster Gonad....

      Yeah, El Reg missed a trick there by replacing "improbably" in the sub-headline with "unfeasibly".

  9. John H Woods Silver badge

    " ... equivalent to grapefruit sized on human chaps"

    Maybe it has just had a vasectomy?

    "You may experience some discomfort ..." they told me. They didn't add "... if you're very, very lucky ... mwah hah ha ha"

  10. Metrognome

    Well, it all has to do with the likelihood of being faithful and the amount of rozzering you're likely to encounter. Huge gorillas have testes way smaller than our on account that they stay faithful whereas smaller chimps have massive bollocks on account that they'd pleasure anything that walks past them.

    The clincher of the story: Nature intended it for human males to be modestly unfaithful on account of their gonad size. (Not sure it'll stand up in court lads, but don't say I didn't try)

  11. Tim Worstal

    Same explanation is given for Soay sheep.....

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reminds me of the first saucy joke I ever heard...

    Bloke goes to doctor and says "Doc, I've got a big ball, but I'm embarrassed to show you." The doc says "Look, I'm a professional, there's no need for embarrassment." "But you'll laugh, like all the others." "No, says. the doc, "Just show me." So matey hauls out grapefruit-sized bollock and lumps it on the desk. The doctor takes one look and howls with laughter. "I knew it," says the bloke. "Now I'll definitely not show you my big ball."

  13. swampdog

    Mirza zaza

    Just how many trees did they have to cut down before top oil exec stated flippently "if there's anyone with bigger bollocks than me, then they can take my job".

    Meanwhile, Tim, in a lab for the last 30 years..

  14. Neil 30

    Talking Bollocks

    ....and we really are here. That's why I do enjoy The Reg

  15. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Coat

    Gives new meaning to 'Having the Balls for it....'

    Coat, no firther explanation needed

  16. Six_Degrees

    "The average male northern giant mouse lemur (Mirza zaza) tips the scales at just 280g, but has "an average testes volume of 15.48 cubic centimetres", the BBC explains.

    Accordingly, "5.5 per cent of the male lemurs’ bodies were testes" by weight, shaming blokes who can boast just 0.05 per cent of their mass dangling between their legs."

    Uh - how are weight and volume related here? And, if the units are wrong and the second figure is really supposed to be grams instead of cubic centimeters, did they really whack a bunch of lemur's balls off to weigh them?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Search for..

    On YouTube, search for largest testicles. Guy had a medical condition that caused him to have 132 pound gonads. He looks like he's straddling a sack of potatoes. Really!

    Some other examples of impressive animals, too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Search for..

      No, thank you.

  18. x 7

    Landing pads

    Lemurs jump. So they need landing pads. Those with the biggest landing pads/cushions can jump the furthest.

    Simple

    They also have the highest tolerance to pain.....all part of being male

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Landing pads

      Do the females not jump?

      1. x 7

        Re: Landing pads

        the females don't jump as far, any anyway they can land on their tits - or some unsuspecting males. You know what women are like - throw themselves at any man, lemurs are the same

  19. MrDamage

    Obligatory Musical Tribute

    Big Balls

  20. Dr Dan Holdsworth
    Boffin

    Sperm competition...

    What is probably going on here is sperm competition of some description. The basic idea for any male is to be the man who fathers the most kids, and animals tend to solve this in only a few basic ways. Gorillas do it by mate guarding; there is one male that mates in any one group, and that is all; gorillas are terribly under-endowed even by primate standards with a 1.5" penis, and testes the size of peas.

    Chimps go to the other extreme, like this lemur. Enormous testes and a mating system whereby most males in the group that the female permits to have a go, do have a go. The easiest way for males to compete is to maximise the amount of sperm cells they put out, absent of any other mechanism.

    Humans, as always, have to be different in mating methods. Human have the largest penis, size for size, of any primate, it is structured differently to most primate penises, and seems to be designed to displace semen from the female genital tract; humans don't produce as much sperm as do chimps, but we produce a great deal more ejaculate with better quality sperm, plus human semen also contains a lot of hormones like Follicle Stimulating Hormone (which stimulates ovulation), so there may be some biochemical warfare going on in humans as well.

    What is obvious with mating systems is that old ideas such as birds being very monogamous is complete bollocks. Species like alpine dunnocks also have (in the breeding season) enormous testes, mostly because every male dunnock in any area is mating with any available female in the area, at the same time as trying to stay out of the way of the alpha males in that area. Male dunnocks are thus extremely busy chaps in the egg-laying season, and also very busy afterwards making sure to take food to all the nests where they may have fathered offspring.

    I shall leave it to some other intrepid biologist to describe what ducks get up to.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      seems to be designed to displace semen from the female genital tract

      Dr Dan thank you for the above phrase, I was vaguely aware that males indulging in "sloppy seconds" were more likely to be successful in fatherhood than ones having first dibs, but perhaps rather naively puzzled as to why that should be the case.

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