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Do male whales have nipples, too?

 
 
nimh
 
Reply Mon 5 Sep, 2005 07:00 am
I was sitting with a couple of friends in a pub last night, and the question sorta kinda just came up. Thought I'd throw it in the group.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 11,512 • Replies: 30
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Sep, 2005 07:01 am
They must have, I think.

All mammals are basically female - with some alterations occurring for males...


Searching:

http://www.salon.com/health/feature/1999/06/08/nipples/print.html


Why do men have nipples?

Great thinkers, from Aristotle to Darwin, have pondered this question.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Susan McCarthy

Why do men have nipples? To prove they're mammals, obviously. The distinguishing features of mammals, from whales to mice, are two: having hair and suckling their offspring. This gives us the notorious sentence that demonstrates why our pronouns need overhauling: "Man is an animal who suckles his young."

Clearly, if men didn't have nipples, to demonstrate their theoretical membership in the La Leche League, we could only identify them as mammals by their hairiness. And where would that leave bald guys? What are they, reptiles?

There are some male mammals without nipples, a fact I was alerted to by Aristotle, who wrote "Such, for instance, is the case with horses, some stallions being destitute of these parts.".....
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Sep, 2005 07:06 am
What exactly were you talking about? I'm cracking my brain trying to figure out how such a think 'sorta kinda just comes up'...


btw, you coming to blava this saturday? should be fun. i used to be famous for parties at my house. it should be a smaller event now, but still pleasant. come on, it's the beginning of the feast season, too (young wine, duck and geese, cabbage, music... good life).
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barefootTia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Sep, 2005 07:10 am
This subject always makes great pub conversation :wink:

Whales are mammals, so it seems that they would have nipples
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Sep, 2005 07:13 am
Though mebbe some don't:


"How do you tell male and female whales apart?

In some whales it’s easy because adult males and females look physically different from each other. This is called sexual dimorphism. A good example is the killer whale, where the adult male’s dorsal fin is much taller and straighter than the female’s. Size is sometimes another clue. Generally, adult females are larger among the baleen whales. But in sperm whales, it is the males that are noticeably bigger. The best way to tell is if you are lucky enough to see the underside of the whale. In the genital region under the tail, there is a long slit called the genital opening. On females, there are two smaller slits on either side of the genital opening. These are her mammary grooves, from which she feeds milk to her calf......"

http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/comm/publications/whalesdpbook/popularquestions/default.html
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Sep, 2005 07:15 am
Heehee - more from the Salon.com article above:

"These shocking facts sent me on a quest for other data on animal nipples or, as medical types have long preferred to say, mammae. Male nipples? Mammae masculinae. (If you need to be even more obscure you can also call a nipple a mamilla or a thelium.)

My mother, when I told her of my research, may have been hinting that there were more hard-hitting stories I could be working on by bringing up the folk analogy "as useless as tits on a boar hog." My research appears to indicate that boar hogs do in fact have tits. Which they are not known to use.

Not only do male platypuses not have nipples, neither do females. The milk simply flows out through pores and is licked up by baby platypuses. And while platypuses are not actually categorized as reptiles, you'll notice that people are always talking about how "primitive" they are and making fun of their noses.

I would have assumed that nipples were only available in even numbers had I not learned that female possums, for example, have between seven and 25 nipples. The delightful Virginia opossum, which inhabits the middles of American roads and highways, usually has 13, efficiently arranged in an open circle with one in the center. This information should not tempt you to snicker and point the next time you see a possum: They also have 50 teeth.

Most mammals, however, stick to even numbers of nipples, and often the males get to have them too. In addition to boar hogs, dogs, cats, all primates and many other animals feature the mamma masculina.

It seems that human embryos develop mammary tissue before they bother to check on whether they're going to be male or female and start modifying the basic plan with surges of this or that hormone. After only a few weeks, milk ridges form -- two stripes of tissue that start in the armpits, curve out over the chest, go straight down the stomach and then veer in toward the groin, ending somewhere high on each thigh. Later the milk ridges regress to some extent, usually leaving us with just two nipples.

Quite a few people end up with an extra, or supernumerary nipple somewhere along the trail of the milk ridge, however. (One man had five.) Sometimes they can't be mistaken for anything but a nipple, and other times they look like a mole. In fact, many people with supernumerary nipples don't know they have them until some officious and informative person starts examining their moles. Extras often run in families -- Darwin cites two brothers who each had a supernumerary nipple. Anyone who thinks that's weird should immediately leave the room and go check his or her torso for moles. How do you know you're not head-to-foot extra nipples and we've all just been too polite to mention it?

What of male nipples as erogenous zones? You know they are, or why would they be banished from the chest of Ken? (To avoid inflaming Barbie.) I have looked into the matter of G.I. Joe: I never owned a G.I. Joe, though I recall liking his accessories, particularly the canteen. (Don't take that the wrong way. Sometimes a canteen is just a canteen.)....."
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Sep, 2005 07:16 am
Aw, I like what the sharks' tucked-up bits (as opposed to dangly...) are called better.
0 Replies
 
barefootTia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Sep, 2005 07:19 am
dlowan wrote:
In the genital region under the tail, there is a long slit called the genital opening. On females, there are two smaller slits on either side of the genital opening. These are her mammary grooves, from which she feeds milk to her calf......"





Wow, all her equipment is in one place
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Sep, 2005 07:20 am
Aaaaa - those claspers..........heehee....


Or are they called summat else??????


Me brain's gone...
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Sep, 2005 07:23 am
CLASPERS indeed!

claspersclaspersclaspersclaspers...

Sorry, I just like that word.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Sep, 2005 07:24 am
So - you have a thing for cartilaginous fishes?


GASP!!!!
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barefootTia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Sep, 2005 07:25 am
Laughing
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Sep, 2005 07:26 am
I knew that would happen!

No, just the tucked-up bits.

Wait, that didn't come out right....
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Sep, 2005 07:30 am
Yes, someone was pointing out that all mammals have nipples ... its just with whales that we was wondering, couldnt imagine - hence.

And see?

How did we get to talk about all mammals having nipples? Something about every sixteenth person being born with a third nipple, I think ... As Dlowan was saying!

So thanks to the bunny for the research; now it'll be here for anyone else who may come up with the question...

And yes Dag, I do think I shall come up that way!
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Sep, 2005 07:30 am
sozobe wrote:
I knew that would happen!

No, just the tucked-up bits.

Wait, that didn't come out right....



Not for want of encouragement....
0 Replies
 
Lord Ellpus
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Sep, 2005 07:44 am
OKaaay.....now that the question has been answered, I've another one for you.

WORMS.......How do you tell which end is the front, and which end is the back...apart from putting them into a bowl of flour and waiting for them to fart?
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Sep, 2005 07:51 am
Nipples and claspers and worms, oh my...

They have a sort of a band that's closer to their head. Unless it's closer to their butt.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Sep, 2005 09:05 am
And if you cut them into two, there's two of 'em right? The part where you'd cut it, does it become head or tail? Must not be a rule to it, cause you know, one half would already have a head, and the other already a tail...
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Sep, 2005 09:14 am
Nope, there are two half-worms if you cut 'em in two. The halves wriggle around for a while, but they can't survive. (I didn't ever cut several worms in half to investigate this when I was a girl, no *coff*)
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Sep, 2005 09:16 am
Oooooo brutal!
0 Replies
 
 

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