NEWS REREPORTED by JIM W.
world's oldest penis is a fossil, found
recently by a researcher in the United Kingdom and
reported late in 2003 in the journal Science.
Most soft tissue from plants and
animals never makes it into a fossil, which
typically consists of harder items like bones and
teeth. But every now and then scientists get lucky.
Researchers at the University of Leicester sliced
this fossil ultra-thin and used computer graphics
software to assemble a 3-dimensional model. They
discovered that the soft parts were remarkably well
Their abstract reports, coyly, that
"the fossil is identified as a male on the basis of
its copulatory organ" -- namely, a penis. Many
other soft structures (a digestive system, a
cloaca, eyes, etc.) were also identified.
The fossil is dated to a time about
425 million years ago, during the Silurian
paleontological period. Although there are no
living members of this particular species, there
are many Cylindroleberididae species alive today,
and they are remarkably similar to the fossil