Snakes have clitoris not one but two of them.
For the first time scientists have located the erogenous zone in nine different species of the reptile.
In fact, Females have two ‘hemiclitories’ hidden on the underside of their tail and separated by tissue.
Previous research had hypothesized that the organs of female snakes were scent glands , under developed versions of penises, or were even there to stimulate males.
But the new study reveals that they have ruled out such theories. offering the first complete description of snake clitorises.
The findings suggest that clitorises may be common squamates , the largest order of reptiles which includes snakes and it could play a large part on how they reproduce.
However, little research has been carried out, as in the case for the clitorises of pretty much all animals, humans included.
“Female genitilia are often overlooked in comparison to their counterparts, limiting our understating of sexual reproduction across vertebrate lineages,” wrote the authors of the study published in the journal proceedings of the Royal Society B.
Since the 1800 it has been known that male squamates have a dual sex organ called a hemipenis.
However, that changed in 1995, a German herpetologist Wolfgang Boehme , who was researching monitor lizards , first described the female sexual organ , the hemiclitores.
Megan Folwell, a PHD candidate at the university of Adelaide in Australia and the newstudy’s lead author, told AFP she started off by analyzing the hemiclitores of a common death adder.
The team of both Australians and American researchers went on to dissect 10 snakes from nine different species including the carpet python, Mexican Moccasin and Puff adder.
They found that the snakes have two individual clitoris -hemiclitores separated by tissue and hidden by skin on the underside of the tail.
For the puff adder, the organ forms a triangle shape, Folwell said.
Some are quite thin, while others take up most of the area around the cloaca, the tiny opening for the digestive , urinary and reproductive tract, Sizes range from less than a millimeter to seven millimeters.
The organs have erectile tissue that likely swells with blood as well as nerve bundles which” may be indicative of tactile sensitivity , similar to the mammalian clitoris,” the study said.
“Snakes are very tactile animals,” Folwell said, ” so there’s quite a high chance that they would get quite a lot of sensation even through the skin.”
If the snakes hemi clitoris are stimulated during sex, it likely prompts longer and more frequent mating , resulting in a greatar chance of reproductive success.
“Pleasure is such an important part of reproduction,” Folwell said.
It could lead to prevent damage from the ‘ very spiny hemipenis’ of male snake, she said , adding that, “we don’t know.”
Why did it take long for scientists to get here?
“It quite a taboo subject, female genitilia is not the easiest topic to bring up and be respected,’ Folwell said.
“There’s also the fact that it is not the easiest structure to find,” she said.” Especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for or where.”
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