A Brazilian researcher claims to have identified the animal with the largest penis in relation to the size of its body. The “winner” is none other than a species of armadillo from South America, whose penis measures as much as half of its body! In addition, the courtship of this animal is simply incredible.
The armadillo reproduces all year round
Nina Attias is a specialist in ecology and animal biology from the Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul (Brazil). For several years she has been studying three of the twenty species of armadillos extant and his thesis topic was on the six-banded armadillo (Euphractus sexcinctus). Let us recall in passing that armadillos are part of the super-order of xenarthra, which also includes anteaters and sloths.
As she says in a magazine article National Geographic on February 9, 2021, the specialist was able, as part of her work, to observe and film courtship of the six-banded armadillo. Present in several South American countries, this animal breeds all year round in the Pantanal, an ecoregion extending mainly over the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul.
An impressive penis size!
When male armadillos sense the presence of a female in heat, they come closer. The female then quickly escapes and the males pursue her tirelessly. From the moment one of the males seems to break away from the group, it mates with the female without the two animals stopping their mad race. Mating takes its course even if other males continue the two lovers. In the event of fertilization, the female will give birth to one or two cubs sixty to sixty-five days later.
Generally speaking, armadillos have one of the largest penises in the animal kingdom for their body size. In the case of the six-banded armadillo, its “member” can wait about fifteen centimeters while his body measures only up to 33 centimeters! So his penis is almost as much as half the size of his own body. It is also the largest ratio in the world.
You should know that the six-banded armadillo appears in the IUCN Red List as little affected by the risk of extinction. On the other hand, this is not the case with three banded armadillo (Tolypeutes tricinctus) and you giant armadillo (Periodontes maximus), both vulnerable. At the national and regional level, efforts are thus being made to ensure the sustainability of species armadillos, in particular by protecting certain lands and ensuring long-term monitoring of these animals.