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Why don't humans have a penis bone? Scientists may now know

为什么人类没有阴茎骨?科学家现在可能知道了答案



Speed of human mating might be behind the lack of a baculum in humans, suggests study tracing bone’s evolution

人类交配速度可能导致人类缺乏阴茎骨,追踪骨头进化的研究如是认为。

It can be as long as a finger in a monkey. In the walrus, it can be two feet long. But the human male has lost it completely. And researchers are a little stumped.

猴子的阴茎骨有人类手指那么长。而海象的阴茎骨长达2英尺。而人类男性完全没有阴茎骨。研究人员有点被难住了。



Kit Opie who led the study at University College London, said that penis bone length was longer in males that engaged in what he called “prolonged intromission.” In plain English, that means that the act of penetration lasts for more than three minutes, a strategy that helps the male impregnate the female while keeping her away from competing males. The penis bone, which attaches at the tip of the penis rather than the base, provides structural support for male animals that engage in prolonged intromission.

伦敦大学学院的研究人员称“持久插入”的雄性拥有更长的阴茎骨,指的是超过3分钟的插入,这种策略既能让雌性更好的怀孕又可以让其他的雄性和雌性保持距离。阴茎骨其实是连接在阴茎的尾端而非基端,为进行持久插入的雄性提供结构性的支持。

In chimps, the penis bone is no longer than a human fingernail. The tininess of the bone correlates with the very short spell that the male spends mating, in the order of seven seconds. In chimpanzee groups, females mate with all the males, in what appears to be a strategy to reduce the risk of her children being killed by older males. “It gives each male an idea that they may have fathered the subsequent offspring, and it is in her interests to get that done quickly,” Opie said.

黑猩猩的阴茎骨还没有人类的指甲长。其阴茎骨这么小,是与雄性交配时间甚短相对应的,大约是7秒钟。在黑猩猩群体中,雌性和所有雄性交配,这种策略是为了降低自己的孩子被更年长雄性杀死的风险。“这会让每只雄性都觉得自己可能是孩子的父亲,所以快速交配是有利于雌性黑猩猩的,”研究人员说。

Humans may have lost their penis bones when monogamy emerged as the dominant reproductive strategy during the time of Homo erectus about 1.9 million years ago, the scientists believe. In monogamous relationships, the male does not need to spend a long time penetrating the female, because she is not likely to be leapt upon by other amorous males. That, at least, is the theory.

科学家认为,在大约190万年前的直立人时期,一夫一妻制开始成为支配性的繁衍战略,人类可能就是在这个时候开始失去自己的阴茎骨。在一夫一妻制的关系中,雄性没必要长时间插入雌性,因为她不太可能被其他雄性插入。至少理论上是如此。

“We think that is when the human baculum would have disappeared because the mating system changed at that point,” Opie said. “This may have been the final nail in the coffin for the already diminished baculum, which was then lost in ancestral humans.” Details of the research are published in Proceedings of the Royal Society.

“我们认为就是在这个时候人类阴茎骨开始消失,因为交配制度开始改变。这可能对业以缩小的阴茎骨造成了致命一击,在人类祖先出现时就就已经没有阴茎骨了。”研究细节发布在《皇家学会报告》上。

“With the reduced competition for mates, you are less likely to need a baculum,” he added.

“由于交配的竞争压力变小,那么阴茎骨的用处就不大了。”

“Despite what we might want to think, we are actually one of the species that comes in below the three minute cut-off where these things come in handy.”

“尽管我们有点想法,但是我们属于三分钟以下的物种之一,用不着阴茎骨。”