Saturday, February 16, 2008

Chet Raymo - keeping multiple husbands on your back!

I found the blog of an author who wrote a book I read some back that still sits on my shelf called, "Skeptics and True believers." If I remember he was Catholic or Ex-Catholic and he was a lecturer at Boston University in the subject of astronomy. He puts the Universe into terms we can relate to. Here is his latest blog entry about how society inhibitions of the Victorian era might have thwarted certain research and discussion.

Science Musings Blog

His work on barnacles was particularly important. He was intrigued by the fact that female barnacles had little pockets on their bodies in which they kept multiple "husbands." Part of his problem was convincing his scientific colleagues that these little organisms were males of the same species, rather than parasites. Elsewhere he describes the penis of one species of male barnacle as being "wonderfully developed", lying "coiled up, like a great worm" and when extended between eight and nine times the length of the animal. Heaven forfend that the eyes of a proper lady should fall upon such a description.
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