Primate testicle size

From the July 18th New Scientist, in the In Brief section, “Zoologger: The sex-addicted tiny lemur with giant testicles” (on-line; in print, “Tiny lemur is best endowed primate”):

“Oh my god! How do they manage to walk and climb without bumping these things on every branch?” asked Johanna Rode-Margono the first time she saw the testicles of a giant mouse lemur close up.

In turns out they don’t. They stumble and bump their balls with almost every step they take, says Rode-Margono, who is at Oxford Brookes University, UK. At a mere 300 grams, the lemur is roughly squirrel-sized. But for its size, it has the largest testicles in the primate world (American Journal of Physical Anthropology, doi.org/54q).

If we had the same testes size, relative to weight, the average man would have balls as big as grapefruits, says Rode-Margono.

The lemurs mate all year round but constant copulation has not saved them from deforestation – fewer than 17,000 giant mouse lemurs are left, she says.

(The story has been picked up by some other UK publications.)

A northern giant mouse lemur having its testicles exposed:

From Wikipedia:

The giant mouse lemurs (Mirza) are a genus of strepsirrhine primates. Two species have been formally described; the northern giant mouse lemur (Mirza zaza) and Coquerel’s giant mouse lemur (Mirza coquereli). Like all other lemurs, they are native to Madagascar, where they are found in the western dry deciduous forests and further to the north in the Sambirano valley and Sahamalaza Peninsula. First described in 1867

(Mirza zaza is a wonderful name.)

xx

One Response to “Primate testicle size”

  1. Dennis Preston Says:

    This is my first encounter with “endowment” = testicle size.

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