All Other Mammals Get Boned

| Working | February 5, 2016

(My mum and I have been wandering through our favourite antique store. I’ve found some things of interest, and join my mum at a case where she’s looking at some jewelry. I realize there’s a bone in the display case that I hadn’t seen before, and as my mum’s looking at a brooch, this occurs.)

Me: “Can I see the walrus tusk?”

Associate #1: “Uh… sure!” *there’s a pause as she reaches in* “Hey, uh, [Associate #2], is this the uh… is the walrus thing-thing thing?”

Associate #2: *from about fifteen feet away* “Huh?”

Associate #1: “The walrus… y’know… thing!”

Associate #2: “Hold on,” *she approaches and glances into the case, then looks back up at her coworker* “Yeah, that’s it.”

Me: “I feel like I should be a bit worried.”

Associate #1: “Well, it’s, uh… it’s a walrus’s penis.”

Me: *I realize I misidentified the object* “Oh, a baculum!”

Associate #2: “Huh?”

Me: “A baculum – a ‘penis bone.’ It’s found in mammals, but not in humans.” *laughing* “Sorry, I’m a biologist, so this stuff doesn’t really bother me.”

Associate #1: “Wait, it’s THAT long?!”

Associate #2: “Well, I mean, you know how big walruses can get.”

(I didn’t have the heart to tell them that a blue whale’s baculum could get up to eight feet in length…)

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