How Did I Not Know Kangaroos Have 3 Vaginas?


Of course I mean just the female ones. This immediately got me wondering about the possible sexist nature of science in the media. If there was an animal out there with even two penises, let alone three, surely we’d all know about it. Or am I the last one to know about this kangaroo vagina thing? I read about it in a book by one of my favorite authors. Jenny Lawson is also a famous blogger, but she is actually a very gifted writer so she deserves the “author” title for her talents. Anyhoo, I’m reading about her adventures in Australia when she mentions the whole three-vagina kangaroo thing and my mind. is. blown. This is not something that’s ever come up on any episode of Wild Kratts I’ve ever seen.

So naturally, I Google “animals with two penises.” (Naturally.) I click on one of the top stories from Science Alert called, “Here’s Why Some Animals Have Two Penises.” A writer named Elizabeth Pennisi, whose article about where penises come from was quoted in the story. You can’t make this stuff up. I can see her in the pitch meeting now:

Editor: I’d love for one of you to take on a story about the origins of the peni–

Pennisi: Me! Me! Me! I got this. I was born for this.

Editor: Okay, Elizabeth. I like your cocksuredness. It’s yours.

Turns out, a millipede has four penises, which he uses as extra legs (because he really needed more). Snakes and lizards have what are called hemipenes, which are two evolved penises they keep tucked away in their tails ’til they’re, well, needed. No mammals have multiple penises, however, an echidna–a spiny anteater that looks like a little porcupine–has a four-headed penis.

short-beaked echidna 01
A short-beaked echidna. (

If you do your own Googling, you can find a picture of this little guy’s four-headed little guy, but decorum prohibits me from posting it here. (Even I have standards. But here’s a link and it looks like an alien puppy paw.) Also, you can actually buy a pillow that says “Echidna Penis” on it. It comes in nine colors on Amazon for only $24. God bless America:


I’m willing to wager that most people don’t know about either the kangaroo vaginas or echidna penis phenomena. Unless you:

a) Have an obsession with unusual animal genitalia.

b) Are a zoologist or the like.

c) Read Jenny Lawson’s book “Furiously Happy,” and proceeded to jump down an Internet rabbit hole (that’s a rabbit with one penis and/or one vagina), or

d) You knew all of this because you’re one of those smug dickholes who knows everything about everything, always having “just read an article about that,” or “saw a documentary about that” and drinks rye (not bourbon) at cocktail parties.

After my research, I’ve come to the conclusion that all animals with weird genitalia, both male and female, have remained rather equitably out of the spotlight, so perhaps science is not as penis-headed as I thought. I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong.


Though I will leave you with this: I’m not sure exactly how, but the menstruation industry is missing out on a great marketing opportunity. Possibly a mascot? I have enough trouble dealing with one vagina, so I don’t know how anyone, human or animal, could handle three. Roos, I raise my DivaCup to you.

Greyhound’s Anatomy: Vet Building’s Design Gone Wrong?

An animal hospital in North Asheville just finished construction of its new building on a very busy street corner. It’s really nice, but there’s something about it that really bothers me.

See those huge windows? On the other side are the operating rooms. If you’re approaching this stoplight from the other direction, you can turn and see them performing surgeries on animals while you wait for a green light. This just doesn’t sit right with me. I can understand how the windows are nice for the veterinarians, and it would be one thing if the glass were one-way. Who doesn’t like natural light in their work environment? But if it were my dog on the operating table, I don’t think I’d want him on display for anyone walking or driving by to see. What if it were your grandmother or your child? A human hospital would never get away with this fishbowl design.

I was just driving by the other day and saw a dog (or incredibly large cat) under the knife. And that’s another thing. It’s so distracting. I was so entranced by the operation that I didn’t notice the light had turned in my favor. I wasn’t in danger of causing an accident, but in the age of texting, tweeting and doing God-knows-what-else while driving, do we really need something else taking our attention away from the wheel?

Most of all though, it’s the privacy issue. I’m a “dogs are people, too” type of gal, and I can’t imagine my babies undergoing a serious surgery while doubling as a window display for my vet’s business.

If this were your vet, would you have a problem with this? Or is there an advantage to this design I’m not seeing? What would you do?