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Everything posted by richardmurray

  1. Betty Boop refers to a culture started by black women as jazz dancers , jazz a musical form started by black musicians.
  2. @Pioneer1 positive idea, a group activity, i think a map of members in timezones will help these things first
  3. Check out some art inspired by the game https://www.deviantart.com/rayseb/art/Neon-934411845 https://www.deviantart.com/roseberriidotart/art/Night-Owl-888026638 The following is a set of art based on the game https://www.deviantart.com/search/deviations?q=Cyberpunk2077
  4. @Mel Hopkins I think the original post would had been better for the black excellence showcase. some of the comments in here are unbecoming in the black excellence topic. I wish you would had asked, i could had told you that the brooklyn library system is separate. Remember NYC's government originally is manhattan's. Manhattan absorbed the bronx which was more a dairy area, named for the bronx family. Then it absorbed rival city brooklyn through Kings county and half of queen's county, and the Richmond , staten island's older, not oldest name<that is native america>. So the borough presidents and various legal mechanisms in NYC derive from the fact that five counties with a lot of impetus by manhattan or new york county, joined to make the five borough nyc. And in defense , NYC is in truth five cities that standalone are top seven cities in the usa, los angeles + chicago are in the seven as well. so less centralized control is warranted as the bureaucracy is too big in nyc. I am happy for the inspiration that some... many, black people in NYC needed by having the library exhibit. To money... I am happy for Jay-Z's financial success. As an artist i do not see any connection between financial value or artistic value in the arts anywhere. If Curtis blow or Grandmaster flash started a few decades later while jay-z a few decades earlier more than likely they switch financial fortunes. If Beyonce was during the 1960s while tina turner was today, i imagine a similar reversal financially. Last poets for me is artistically superior to jay-z's work but jay'z's work is commercially superior to last poets , and that is ok. But jay-z was at the best time to make profit. the black communities wealth, the globla media acceptance of hip hop, his fanbase, the internet, it all fits to lead to money, and that luck is fine, but just luck.
  5. @ProfD thank you In my mind, i rather say Black Leadership in NYC at the least, is wisest if it consist of a group of individuals representing the various tribes in the black village in nyc, but it doesn't have to, it can be one individual but they have to be committed to the all the tribes honestly which is a challenge. Comprehend Jackson mississippi doesn't require such an internally multiracial leadership. a black christian movement is enough but al sharpton isn't in jackson, he is in nyc.
  6. The Hemiclitoris of the snake


    Scientists finally discovered the snake clitoris, and they're 'very excited'


    By Joanna Thompson

     published December 16, 2022


    Megan Folwell stood over a female Australian death adder (Acanthophis antarcticus), armed with a scalpel. The snake was dead, donated by a venom supply company. Very carefully, Folwell, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Adelaide in Australia, made an incision near the animal's tail. She was about to go where no scientists had gone before.

    "I went into it not knowing what I was going to see," Folwell told Live Science. 

    Until now, no one had taken the time to look for and describe a snake's clitoris. With the exception of birds, clitorises are found in every vertebrate lineage, including snakes' closest cousins, lizards. But when Folwell went looking for literature about the organ in serpents, she came up empty-handed. "It just didn't make sense to me," she said. "I knew there had to be something going on."


    So she and her team decided to investigate. Their results, published Dec. 14 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, describe the structure of the forked "hemiclitoris" in snakes for the first time.


    In contrast, male snake genitalia have been well documented across a variety of species. Male snakes have a structure called a hemipenis, essentially a two-pronged penis tucked under the base of the tail (and often held inside the body until mating). Much scientific ink has been spilled over the past 200 years describing differences between hemipenes, which range in size and shape from tiny twin toothpicks to huge, elaborate organs with "a lot of spines on them and whatnot," said Richard Shine, an evolutionary biologist at Macquarie University in Australia who was not involved in the study.


    Despite more than two centuries' worth of data on hemipenes, however, nobody had described an equivalent structure in female snakes. The lack of evidence caused some scientists to speculate that snake hemiclitorises might not exist at all — or that, if they did, they had been reduced to a stunted evolutionary remnant.

    A lack of research around female anatomy is a troubling scientific trend. Even in humans, surprisingly little is known about the clitoris. The full structure of the organ, which includes not only the little nub at the top of the labia but also two large internal bulbs full of nerve endings, wasn't discovered until the mid-1840s. Even then, it remained relatively obscure to the medical establishment until Australian urologist Helen O'Connell's work in 2005, which showed that typical textbook depictions of the clitoris were riddled with inaccuracies. In fact, just last month, scientists counted all 10,000 nerve fibers in the human clitoris for the first time.


    Data about female reproductive anatomy and behavior in nonhuman animals are even more scarce. A November analysis published in the journal Nature found that between 1970 and 2021, more than seven times as many papers were published about sperm competition in animals compared with female mate selection. A 2014 perspectives article published in the journal PLOS Biology found that about 50% of all studies of animal genitalia published between 1989 and 2013 focused exclusively on males, while 10% focused only on females. 

    "If genetal evolution research only investigates the male parts, it gives a very lopsided understanding of nature," Malin Ah-King, an evolutionary biologist and gender researcher at Stockholm University in Sweden who was not involved in the new research, told Live Science. This bias has led scientists to overlook certain important aspects of female reproduction — such as the existence of entire organs.

    Thanks to Folwell's efforts, we now know that hemiclitorises exist in at least nine snake species. Folwell carefully dissected preserved specimens from four snake families (Elapidae, Pythonidae, Colubridae and Viperidae) and ran them through a CT (computed tomography) scan, noting the size and shape of each hemiclitoris. She found that they varied as much as hemipenes.


    "Seeing the nerve structure, it was really exciting," said Folwell, the study's first author. And in other scientists' defense, she said, the tissue that makes up snakes' hemiclitorises is quite delicate (even though, in some cases, the organ was fairly large). 

    Shine described the new research as "an excellent piece of work." "It certainly convinces me that there is a structure there," he told Live Science. 

    For Folwell and her team, this study is merely the start of this research. She hopes that future work will uncover a fuller picture of the hemiclitoris's evolutionary history and how it fits into snake mating behavior. "We're really very excited about all of this," she said.







    First evidence of hemiclitores in snakes
    Megan J. Folwell, Kate L. Sanders, Patricia L. R. Brennan and Jenna M. Crowe-Riddell
    Published:14 December 2022https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2022.1702






    1. richardmurray



      Female genitalia are conspicuously overlooked in comparison to their male counterparts, limiting our understanding of sexual reproduction across vertebrate lineages. This study is the first complete description of the clitoris (hemiclitores) in female snakes. We describe morphological variation in size and shape (n = 9 species, 4 families) that is potentially comparable to the male intromittent organs in squamate reptiles (hemipenes). Dissection, diffusible iodine contrast-enhanced micro-CT and histology revealed that, unlike lizard hemiclitores, the snake hemiclitores are non-eversible structures. The two individual hemiclitores are separated medially by connective tissue, forming a triangular structure that extends posteriorly. Histology of the hemiclitores in Australian death adders (Acanthophis antarcticus) showed erectile tissue and strands/bundles of nerves, but no spines (as is found in male hemipenes). These histological features suggest the snake hemiclitores have functional significance in mating and definitively show that the hemiclitores are not underdeveloped hemipenes or scent glands, which have been erroneously indicated in other studies. Our discovery supports that hemiclitores have been retained across squamates and provides preliminary evidence of differences in this structure among snake species, which can be used to further understand systematics, reproductive evolution and ecology across squamate reptiles.


      1. Introduction

      Genitalia are some of the fastest evolving characteristics in amniotes with internal fertilization [1]. In these taxa, comparative studies of genitalia provide insights into the role of sexual selection in speciation and the evolution of reproductive traits [2]. Unfortunately, studies of female genitalia have lagged next to an overwhelming focus on male genitalia across amniotes [1,3,4]. This is despite some evidence that female genitalia, and the clitoris in particular, have a key functional role in reproduction [58]. For example, variation in clitoris morphology has been linked to different degrees of sexual arousal that could lead to increased reproductive fitness by enticing females to copulate or forming social bonds. Increasing vaginal lubrication, relaxing the vaginal opening and preparing the reproductive tract to receive sperm are among other potential functions of the clitoris [811].

      Studies on the male hemipenes in lizards and snakes are extensive (e.g. [12]), and have fundamentally shaped ideas on the shared developmental origins of the phallus in amniotes (e.g. [13]), systematic controversies, sexual conflict (e.g. [14]) and diversity of sexual characteristics within the squamate reptiles (e.g. [14,15]). Similar studies of female hemiclitores are rare, and in fact, it is often assumed that the clitoris is vestigial or lost across lineages of squamates [16]. Even when hemiclitores are described in lizards, these have been hypothesized to provide a stimulatory role for the male during intromission [17], rather than to stimulate the female as is the case in other amniotes [8]. Hemiclitores in lizards are eversible and resemble features of the hemipenes such as the sulcus spermaticus and retractor muscles [1720].

      The apparent lack of a hemiclitores in adult snakes is puzzling because this organ is found in most adult female amniotes with the exception of birds [21,22]. During squamate development, the paired genital buds continue growing to create hemipenes or regress in size to form the hemiclitores [23]. Reports of hemiclitores in adult snakes, however, are either, (i) inappropriate citations of literature that discussed lizards rather than snakes, (ii) different sex genitalia in snakes (e.g. intersex or male hemipenes), (iii) vague descriptions without anatomical references or (iv) confused with adjacent anatomy such as the scent glands (e.g. [24]). Many erroneous reports of hemiclitores actually describe hemipenes from intersex individuals, including Bothrops insularis, which have a remarkably high prevalence of intersex individuals with functional oviducts [25], Bothrops jararaca [26] and Lycodryas maculatus [27]. This confusion may stem from imprecise terminology combined with incomplete examinations of gonad anatomy, as some papers define intersex individuals as ‘females with a hemiclitoris', where the hemiclitores were actually intersex hemipenes, and females as ‘females without a hemiclitoris’ [28,29], while other papers describe intersex individuals as ‘females with hemipenes’ [26,27,3034]. We reviewed these spurious reports and conflicting descriptions of squamate hemiclitores in [27].

      Here, we provide the first macro morphological descriptions of hemiclitores using dissection in seven adult female snakes (Elapidae, Viperidae and Pythonidae) and diffusible iodine contrast-enhanced micro-CT (DiceCT) scanning in three adult female snakes (Elapidae and Colubridae). We selected a focus species, the Australian common death adder (Acanthophis antarcticus), to conduct in-depth morphological descriptions of hemiclitores using a combination of dissection, DiceCT scanning and histology. Using histology, we compared hemiclitores structure in females of this species with conspecific male hemipenes from an adult and juvenile. Using DiceCT scanning, we demonstrate the difference between the hemiclitores and the adjacent scent glands, which have previously been erroneously reported as hemiclitores [24]. Clarifying the difference between hemipenes and hemiclitores clears the path for a more comprehensive understanding of snake hemiclitores anatomy and potential function, as well as improving our understanding of intersex genitalia in squamates.


      2. Materials and methods


      (a) Specimens and euthanasia

      We examined female genitalia in 10 adult specimens, eight frozen and two fresh-fixed females, across nine species: Acanthophis antarcticus, Agkistrodon bilineatus, Bitis arietans, Helicops polylepis, Lampropeltis abnorma, Morelia spilota, Pseudechis colleti, Pseudechis weigeli and Pseudonaja ingrami. We also examined the micro-anatomy of the male genitalia in an adult and a juvenile specimen (Acanthophis antarcticus) (electronic supplementary material, table S1). The adults were wild caught and were sourced from either Venom Supplies Pty. Ltd., private collections, or the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology (UMMZ). The juvenile A. antarcticus was born at Venom Supplies.

      Once euthanized via injection of pentobarbitone, the specimens were immediately frozen at −20°C. Adult female, male and juvenile male A. antarcticus specimens were used for histology, and an adult female was used for DiceCT scanning (electronic supplementary material, table S1). The adult females of A. bilineatus, B. arietans, M. spilota, P. colleti, P. weigeli and P. ingrami were used for dissection morphology, and H. polylepis and L. abnorma were used for DiceCT morphology (electronic supplementary material, table S1).


      (b) Histology

      For the female A. antarcticus, the tail was dissected dorsally to identify the hemiclitoral structure medial to the two scent glands, posterior to the cloaca. The hemiclitores structure and both scent glands were removed from the tail and fixed in 10% buffered formalin. For both males, the inverted hemipenes structures were removed and preserved in 10% buffered formalin.

      The excised genitalia from the A. antarcticus histology specimens were processed and stained for paraffin histology. Each sample was sliced longitudinally with a microtome 10 times at 5 µm (first nine slides not stained—45 µm), once at 10 µm, then once again at 5 µm. The slides were stained in haematoxylin and eosin (H&E), Bielschowsky silver and Masson's Trichrome, respectively. The slides were scanned using an Axio Scan.Z1 Automated Slide Scanner (Axioscan, Zeiss, Germany) and the ZEN Blue software version 3.4 (Zeiss Zen blue edition, Zeiss, Germany).


      (c) Diffusible iodine contrast-enhanced micro-CT

      The tail of the female A. antarcticus was removed with a transverse amputation just above the posterior lip of the cloaca. The tail of the death adder and the two colubrid full snake DiceCT specimens were fixed in 10% buffered formalin, rinsed for 24 h and transferred into 70% ethanol for at least two weeks. The tail and whole-bodied specimens were transferred into 50% ethanol for 48 h, then into 25% ethanol for 48 h before submersing in 1–1.25% Lugol's iodine solution (I2 + KI + H2O) for approximately 14 days, as per the following protocol for DiceCT [35]. Scanning was conducted on the tail prior to and post-staining using a SkyScan-1276 Micro-CT (Zeiss, Germany) at the University of Adelaide (Aluminium 1 mm filter, 10 µm, 90 kV, 200 µA), and on the whole-bodied specimens on a Nikon Metrology XTH 225ST µCT scanner (Xtect, Tring, UK) at the UMMZ. The two-dimensional tomography slices for each scan were reconstructed in Avizo version 9.2 (Thermo Fisher Scientific, USA) or Volume Graphics Studio Max version 3.2 (Volume Graphics, Heidelberg, Germany) and the hemiclitores segmented using a thresholding tool. The contrast between soft tissue in the tail was low but the hemiclitores could clearly be defined by comparing its position with the images of the dissection and histology and by demarcations between the hemiclitoris and the two scent glands.


      3. Results


      (a) Discovery of hemiclitores in colubrid, viperid, pythonid and elapid snakes

      In all species, the hemiclitores were clearly identified as two separate and non-eversible structures in the tails of females, posterior to the cloaca and medial or medioventral to the two scent glands (figures 1 and 2). DiceCT and dissection revealed the hemiclitores are separated medially by connective tissue that together forms triangular structures, with some shape variation and significant size variation across species (figures 1 and 2). Unlike lizard hemiclitores, all snake hemiclitores examined lacked spines, sulcus spermaticus and retractor muscles, and could not be everted by manual manipulation. Some hemiclitores were large and conspicuous, occupying most of the anterior tail region that extended dorsally towards the spine (Agkistrodon bilineatus) (figure 1a), whereas others were small and medioventral to the scent gland (Helicops polylepisfigure 1c; Pseudonaja ingramifigure 1h). The elapids and colubrids presented with the smallest hemiclitores, and the viperids had the most prominent ones (figures 1 and 2). Some elapids, Pseudechis colleti, Pseudonaja ingrami and Pseudechis weigeli, presented with hemiclitores that were thin and laid over the top of the scent glands (ventral position) but still in a central position in the tail, thus, medioventral (figure 1f–h). However, Lampropeltis abnorma (figure 1d), like Acanthophis antarcticus, presented with small hemiclitores that extended deeper towards the spine than in other elapids. Another cryptic feature found in some species, Pseudechis colleti and Pseudechis weigeli, was the presence of detached ‘pockets’ anterior to the hemiclitores, posterior to the cloaca and medial to the scent gland openings (figure 1f,h). These pockets consisted of two empty soft tissue pouches, separated through the centre, with the opening along the posterior cloaca lip and pouch extending posteriorly towards the hemiclitores. There was no protrusion of pouch/pocket into the hemiclitores, thus the pockets were detached from the hemiclitores.

      Figure 1.

      Figure 1. Macroanatomy of the snakes hemiclitores and scent glands in mature female (a,b) viperid, (c,d) colubrid, (e) pythonid and (fh) elapid snakes (specimen IDs and information in the electronic supplementary material, table S1). (a) Agkistrodon bilineatus. (b) Bitis arietans. (c) Unsegmented DiceCT scan transverse slice of a Helicops polylepis. (d) DiceCT three-dimensional model (left of dotted line) with ventral view of the two-dimensional segmented CT scan (right of dotted line) of a Lampropeltis abnorma. (e) Two dissection images of Morelia spilota specimen. (f) Two dissection photos of Pseudechis colleti specimen, undisrupted gross anatomy of the hemiclitores (left of dotted line) and hemiclitores moved to the side to show the scent gland (right of dotted line). (g) Pseudechis weigeli. (h) Pseudonaja ingrami. Dotted lines separate two images that are from the same specimen but a different view. CL: cloaca; H or HC: hemiclitores; M: muscle; P: pockets; SG: scent glands; SGD: scent gland duct. (Online version in colour.)

      Figure 2.

      Figure 2. Macroanatomy of two mature female common death adders (Acanthophis antarcticus) hemiclitores and scent glands (specimen IDs and information in the electronic supplementary material, table S1). (a) Female death adder ‘AA99’ specimen image. (b) Ventral view of a DiceCT three-dimensional model of female specimen ‘AA79’ with and dissection of female specimen ‘AA99’. (c,d) Two ventral view two-dimensional longitudinal slices from a DiceCT scan of a female specimen ‘AA79’ tail (blue line = slice position). (e) Transverse two-dimensional DiceCT slice of female specimen ‘AA79’. CL: cloaca; HC: hemiclitores; SG: scent glands. Death adder image credit: Luke Allen.



      (b) Intraspecific comparison of genital micro-anatomy in Acanthophis antarcticus

      The hemiclitores were clearly identified in the tails of two female death adders, posterior to the cloaca and medial to the two scent glands (figure 2). DiceCT, dissection and histology revealed the hemiclitores as two independent structures, separated through the midline by connective tissue, that together form a triangular shape extending and tapering posteriorly (figures 2 and 3). The hemiclitores were prominent although small (figure 2; electronic supplementary material, table S1) and extended dorsally towards the spine. Like all other species examined, the hemiclitores lacked spines, sulcus spermaticus and retractor muscles, and could not be manually everted, unlike the adult and juvenile male death adders' hemipenes (electronic supplementary material, figure S1). Dissection and histology of female A. antarcticus revealed that each hemiclitoris had extensive erectile tissue that contained clusters of nucleated red blood cells in the numerous vascular spaces interwoven with collagen, which were identified by H&E and Trichrome stains (figure 3a,c). By contrast, the erectile tissue of the hemipenis had dense muscle fibres alongside but separate from collagen (electronic supplementary material, figure S1). Nerve bundles and single nerve strands were also present throughout the hemiclitores and hemipenes, as seen in the Bielschowsky silver stain (figure 3b; electronic supplementary material, figure S1b,e). The presence of erectile bodies with blood cells suggests that the hemiclitores engorge with blood, while the presence of abundant nerve bundles suggests that their stimulation may provide sensory feedback to the females.

      Figure 3.

      Figure 3. Histology of the hemiclitores and scent glands from mature female death adder specimen ‘AA99’ with (a) hematoxylin and eosin (H&E), (b) Bielschowsky and (c) Masson's trichrome stains. Inset images: (a) red blood cells in the right hemiclitoris and muscle layer between the hemiclitores and cloaca; (b) nerves within the right hemiclitoris; (c) red blood cells and collagen within the right hemiclitoris. 😄 collagen; CL: cloaca; HC: hemiclitores; M: muscle cells; N: nerve fibres; NB: nucleated red blood cells; SG: scent glands. (Online version in colour.)



      (c) Differentiating the hemiclitores and scent glands

      To clear up the misidentification of scent glands with hemiclitores, i.e. [24], we investigated the DiceCT scan of Lampropeltis abnorma (figure 1d) and A. antarcticus (figure 2), and dissected a mature female Morelia spilota (figure 1e), which was one of the species used in [24]. We confirmed that the ‘ovoid structures cranial to the scent gland’ described by [24] were actually part of the scent gland because they clearly connect to the gland and extend to the cloacal opening (figures 13). Depending on where the tail was sliced longitudinally, it appeared as if the scent gland and duct were disconnected posteriorly, leading to misidentification of two individual ‘hemiclitores’ located posterior to the scent glands (figure 2). We confirmed that the structures labelled as ‘hemiclitores’ in [24] were actually ducts, by dissecting the tail in M. spilota and using a semi-blunt probe, we found the duct opening at the cloaca (figure 1e). This arrangement of hemiclitores medial to the scent gland and ducts was consistent across the females of the species examined (figures 1 and 2).


      4. Discussion

      Female genitalia are historically under-studied compared to males [3,4], and this neglect has delayed our understanding of reproductive biology and behaviour of females in nature. Even though the clitoris is present in most female amniotes [1], and as we demonstrate here, in snakes as well, very little is known about the possible functional role and evolution of the hemiclitores in squamates. Here, we report that the hemiclitores in snakes are diverse across a range of species and likely functional. These findings may help us broadly re-examine female choice in snakes via genital stimulation.


      (a) Evolutionary significance of snake hemiclitores

      Our discovery of hemiclitores in snakes is timely in the field of reproductive biology given the recent enthusiasm for using innovative imaging techniques for explore female anatomy [1] and confusion surrounding the anatomy of hemipenes/hemiclitores in intersex snakes, which is stymieing progress in the field [36]. Quantifying morphological variation in hemiclitores among squamates will be important for understanding mating strategies and testing hypotheses of genital coevolution. The phenotypic diversity of hemiclitores is evident within and between families of snakes and lizards [36] and suggests that courtship and mating differences may have influenced the evolution of hemiclitores morphology. A future comparative study including more reproductively diverse species would help to elucidate the potential role(s) of the squamate hemiclitores.

      Our discovery of well-developed, non-eversible hemiclitores in female adult snakes has previously not been accurately described and provides supporting evidence that hemiclitores have been retained across squamates. Several important differences between the male and female genitalia, and notable diversity of hemiclitores across species, challenge previous statements that squamate hemiclitores are a vestigial form of hemipenes, or an intersex hemipene [16], reviewed in [36]. The interspecific diversity of snake hemiclitores parallels that of the male hemipenes [37,38], suggesting that similar selection pressures may influence the shape, size and characteristics, such as detached pockets (figure 1f,g), of the hemiclitores. Further descriptions of hemiclitores, the vagina and conspecific male hemipenes morphology across snake species with different reproductive strategies will be important for mapping the full phenotypic variation and understanding genital evolution in squamate reptiles [1]. Moreover, variation in hemiclitores morphology presents new taxonomic characteristics that may prove useful for resolving the origin of snakes within other squamates (reviewed in [37,38]).


      (b) Functional significance of snake hemiclitores

      To establish potential function of the hemiclitores, we look at diversity across species, where variation could indicate the action of selection. We investigated variation in gross hemiclitores morphology across clades spanning 100 Myr of snake evolution and found variation across pythonids, colubrids and viperids, and even variation among closely related elapids. The viperid and colubrid species presented with similar interspecific hemiclitores shape and size within each family (figure 1ad), whereas elapids presented with significant interspecific variation in size, shape and characteristics such as detached pockets (figure 1fh and figure 2). Characteristics, such as soft tissue detached pockets in Pseudechis, indicate that there are species groupings that may be comparable to taxonomic groupings based on hemipenis morphology and ornamentation, such as spines and hooks, and should be investigated. Additionally, these pockets might represent the ‘mere shallow invaginations' referenced in early descriptions of female squamate genitalia [39]. Unlike ‘pockets’ previously described from inverted intersex hemipenes in snakes [40], these pockets are not the result of inverted genital structures, but rather a pouch of soft tissue detached from the hemiclitores. The presence/absence of these pockets may aid in external access for the males to the anterior section of the hemiclitores in some species, but the function of this structure should be investigated further.

      While hemipenes and hemiclitores in snakes share the same developmental pathways during embryogenesis [23,36], our histological comparison of these structures in A. antarcticus identified several anatomical differences between them (figure 3; electronic supplementary material, figure S1). The snake hemiclitores are composed of collagen and vascularized spaces (erectile tissue), connective tissue and dense innervation, but lack muscle fibres in the erectile tissue, and other hemipenis characteristics, such as spines. Since hemipenis spines and muscle fibres in the erectile tissue are present in both juvenile and adult males (electronic supplementary material, figure S1), it is unlikely that we missed their presence in our sample of females due to sexual immaturity or an early stage of genital development. Muscle fibres within the hemipenes provide structural support for inflation during hemipenile eversion, and the retractor muscles attached to the hemipenes allow retraction of the hemipenes back into the tail (electronic supplementary material, figure S1) [8]. A lack of these structures in the hemiclitores supports the observation that the hemiclitores are non-eversible in snakes, unlike hemiclitores in lizards [1720]. Additionally, the hemiclitores are composed of erectile tissue that is likely to swell but not evert (e.g. [8]). Lizard hemipenes and hemiclitores both have muscle fibres and spines, and while these features are often present in snake hemipenes, they are absent in all the hemiclitores examined.

      The presence of nerve bundles and single nerve fibres in the hemiclitores may be indicative of tactile sensitivity, similar to the mammalian clitoris [8]. The innervation and erectile tissue of the hemiclitores, and their position close to the posterior lip of the cloaca where the skin is thinner, could allow stimulation during mating through copulatory behaviours, such as tail wrapping and dorsal body looping [8,12,1720]. These male mating behaviours could provide female sensory stimulation that may elicit female receptivity. The presence of erectile tissue with some evident blood cells suggests that the hemiclitores may have the ability to engorge with blood if stimulated, much like what has been observed in mammals (e.g. [10]), and other amniotes during sexual activity (e.g. [5]). However, the neurophysiology and density of these nerves in snake hemiclitores needs further investigation with more comprehensive histology/immunohistology and behavioural studies to determine whether they have a copulatory purpose [20].


      (c) Intersex hemiclitores or intersex hemipenes?

      The literature on hemiclitores in snakes has suffered from either misinterpretation or misidentification with intersex genital anatomy [2529,36,41]. Our anatomical description of hemiclitores in female snakes show that the ‘intersex hemiclitores' from previous studies are more accurately termed as ‘intersex hemipenes’. This is because early reports of intersexuality in snakes describe this condition as the presence of internal female characteristics (i.e. oviducts) alongside genitalia that are paired eversible uni- or bilobed structures with a sulcus spermaticus through the midline and retractor muscles [17,25,42]. Thus, intersex genitalia more closely resemble male hemipenes, albeit they are often a smaller size with minimal spine development. To our knowledge, intersex hemiclitores (accompanied by typical male gonads) have not previously been described. However, it is possible that intersex individuals with typical male gonads and hemiclitores exist, but their genitalia were not fully examined or are confused with small hemipenes. For example, Hoge [25] mentions that four Bothrops insularis embryos had testes with no hemipenes; however, the potential of intersex non-eversible hemiclitores was not investigated. Our description of hemiclitores morphology will allow future studies to properly assign genital characteristics of the hemiclitores and the hemipenes in squamates, which can result in better investigation of the prevalence of intersexual variation. Properly classifying intersex individuals according to whether they have testes and hemiclitores, or ovaries and hemipenes, would be the first step to potentially investigating the mechanisms that make intersex common in snakes.


      5. Conclusion

      Our study opens fruitful avenues for research into genital development, function and evolution. Our discovery of likely functional snake hemiclitores implies greater morphological diversity of genitalia within squamates than previously described, from the evertable lizard hemiclitores and squamate hemipenes to the non-eversible snake hemiclitores. Variation in the snake hemiclitores might prove to be correlated with courtship and mating behaviours and help us understand female choice. We suggest that the hemiclitores transduce sensation to the female snake during courtship and copulation, which might promote longer and more frequent mating leading to increased fertilization success. Further investigation into the sensory features of snake hemiclitores and hemipenes are needed to determine potential tactile sensitivity. Comparative morphological investigations of hemiclitores and hemipenes within and among taxa would also provide insight into the possible coevolution of male and female genitalia.



      All specimens were ethically euthanized, and all interactions with animals and collection of samples were conducted under the requirements of the Department for Environment and Water and the institutional guidelines of Venom Supplies Pty. Ltd and were undertaken in conformance with the Animal Welfare Act 1985 (South Australia).


      Data accessibility

      The datasets supporting this article have been uploaded as part of the supplementary material and online from the Dryad Digital Respository: https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.j6q573nh3 [43].

      The data are provided in the electronic supplementary material [44].


      Authors' contributions

      M.J.F.: conceptualization, data curation, formal analysis, investigation, methodology, validation, visualization, writing—original draft and writing—review and editing; K.L.S.: investigation, project administration, supervision, validation and writing—review and editing; P.L.R.B.: investigation, project administration, validation and writing—review and editing; J.M.C.-R.: data curation, investigation, methodology, supervision, validation, visualization and writing—review and editing.

      All authors gave final approval for publication and agreed to be held accountable for the work performed therein.


      Conflict of interest declaration

      We declare we have no competing interests.



      Funding was provided by the University of Adelaide student support fund to M.J.F. and an NSF CAREER grant to P.L.R.B. (grant no. 2042260).


      For access to specimens, we would like to thank Nathan Dunstan, Luke Allen and the staff from Venom Supplies Pty Ltd, Tanunda, Ralph Foster (South Australian Museum) and Ramon Nagesan, Greg Schneider, Alison Davis Rabosky and José Martínez Fonseca (University of Michigan Museum of Zoology). For microscopy and scanning support, we thank Alessandro Palci and the staff at Adelaide Microscopy and Adelaide Medical School.



      Electronic supplementary material is available online at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.6316560.


      © 2022 The Authors.

      Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.

  7. @Troy as shatner said in the interview, the content of the material inspired. and remember to say the leadership will change, all communities in humanity go through phases of quality leadership, sometimes the quality is high plus the quantity is high sometimes the quality is low plus the quantity is low. Sharpton said on local news in 2023, talking about coretta scott king and mlk jr, forget the show i apologize, that he wanted a christian movement when he started in his perm and third trimester days, he purposefully rejected other advocates who wanted to regale other aspects in the black community outside the black christian. so... And you mention oprah and it is similar. The modern black community in the usa is internally more multiracial than ever before and it isn't just the black, this goes into Schrumpt, the white community in the usa today has a greater level of internal multiraciality, and same to latinos, same to asian. I have heard in NYC latinos call ocasio cortez crazy. Anyone in NYC know the koreans and indians do not get along with the chinese. Staten island, the mostly white borough, wants to cede from nyc in the same way, the southern states white populaces want to change the imperial design of the usa from how the northern and western states have it. These are splits , not impossible to lead, nothing is impossible, but the quality has to be higher and... @ProfD The question is, how do you lead an internally multiracial community that is only getting more and more multiracial per day? The 1960s opened up the immigration doors in the usa but as someone i know who advocates for immigrants said very wisely, governments in general, don't tend to make comprehensive or wise immigration laws, looking forward. IN AMENDMENT I thought about your point, though worded differently initially, who in the usa is as close to a confirmed black leader in the past? Sharpton is as close a copy to a black christian leader pre 1980s, which is what sharpton wanted when he started, by his own words. But a black christian leader is inadequate to the structure of the modern black populace in the usa 2023
  8. @Troy I will not suggest any human being is unable to act randomly or radically. I can say that many, often times most, chose not too. Al sharpton isn't the leader of the black community of nyc. so those who think similarly to me, which is not you, accept that he can not be the leader of the black community of the usa. But I have no problem accepting you and those who think similarly to you see him as a black statian leader. @ProfD and that character is what tschrumpf/obama/biden/clinton/bush jr or sr/al sharpton /cornell west/ocasio cortez/current governor hochul/eric adams/ plus many others are. of course it was a failure and corman mortgaged his house to pay for the film. but message doesn't sell like fun. It doesn't mean an artist has to present fun, but financially, the history of artistic revenue doesn't lie.

    Artist: Lisa Tillman Pritchard

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  10. @ProfD a person can be well known or popular and be a leader. I oppose your assertion that schrumpf is a leader, i consider him a mob guide, that goes back to his central park 5 opinion. it didn't lead, scrumpft comprehends a simple truth, the usa is a multiracial country which means a populace in every race in the usa: women/white/black/native/men/young/old/immigrant/christian/muslim/chinese/nigeiran/russian/any other you can think of dislike/hate everybody else. And the populace inside the white community in the usa that dislike/hate everybody else is large enough to be profitable in one way or another. The proof is the black followers, people say it is shocking but it isn't. The black community in the usa don't have anyone like Schrumpf. a black person , financially safe that can or desires to mouthpiece pure dislike or hate with an anti immigratory or anti integrated position. Take a look at the film, the intruder, for free https://aalbc.com/tc/profile/6477-richardmurray/?status=2422&type=status


    I don't consider schrumpt a leader, 

    but I have a why. He doesn't organize. The maga crowd was the tea party crowd, was the christian conservative crowd in the 1970's-1980s , was the white folk who hanged black folk and burned black folk in the 1960s and before. 

    Schrumpf didn't get the MAga's angry, they have been ready to fight since the 1950s,since the war between thes tates, since the usa was founded...  what Schrumpf did was mob guide, not start , not lead, mob guide, ala the film intruder, take a look, for free:) linked at the end of my comment.

    And to get into the black community in the usa, black statians , unlike the white community in the usa, white statians where various whites guide white people with violent intent, black people with violent intent rarely have such a public guide. I know most white media and some black media today talks about people like Nat Turner, and Saint Garvey and  Brother Malcolm or lessers like  farrakhan or mumia but none of them, to be fair, ever said, just go out and hurt white people. Lock her up, that kind of talk was never uttered by the people i mentioned. The people i mentioned said defend yourself by any means and white media and to be fair, many in black media, take that as equivalent to people like schrumpf in the white community in the usa, with his opeds on five black children.  

    Leaders can motivate but the problem in the usa is people, black or non black, tend to view the supporters to schrumpft as needing him, they don't need him to be motivated, to be passionate, to be organized, they need him to guide. 

    This is why so many whites , immigrants, were so appalled by Schrumpt as president, while the maga were happy.  it was his executive shift. What if the USA stopped being the policeman of europe. What if the USA joined with Russia against china. What if the USA stopped being the center of the global human migratory  storm. For rural whites in the usa this is ideal. now for white city folk , many of whom are from immigrant stock as well as the hordes of non white immigrants, this is the nightmare. SCrumpft is not a legislator or organizer, sequentially his policies couldn't get through congress but as an executive, he put in place the seeds of that and again it was guiding, not leadership. 

    IF you can not organize, which schrumpft has proven he can not then...in my eyes , you can not be a leader


    1. richardmurray


      in the forum post


      a person can be well known or popular and be a leader.

      I oppose your assertion that schrumpf is a leader, i consider him a mob guide, that goes back to his central park 5 opinion. it didn't lead, scrumpft comprehends a simple truth, the usa is a multiracial country which means a populace in every race in the usa: women/white/black/native/men/young/old/immigrant/christian/muslim/chinese/nigeiran/russian/any other you can think of dislike/hate everybody else. And the populace inside the white community in the usa that dislike/hate everybody else is large enough to be profitable in one way or another. 

      The proof is the black followers, people say it is shocking but it isn't. The black community in the usa don't have anyone like Schrumpf. a black person , financially safe that can or desires to  mouthpiece pure dislike or hate with an anti immigratory or anti integrated position. 

      Take a look at the film, the intruder, for free


  12. What was it like re-releasing work that you did 20+ years ago? Was there anything surprising to you about returning to these classic games from an earlier part of your career? Honne: Although I am only supervising the Remaster version, to be honest I really want to remake the whole thing since the original version was released 20 years ago. But unfortunately, I don't think any gamers out there have the same thoughts as mine, haha. I feel relieved and happy to look back at how well the game was made, in terms of playability and length. Kojima: We are genuinely happy that more people will have the opportunity to experience Baten Kaitos. I would like to thank all the fans for their continued support and everyone involved in the Remaster's production. One thing that amazed me once again was the background art, which is still beautiful after 20 years, probably because it is 2D art. It is also surprising that Mr. Honne drew all these almost by himself at the time. Higurashi: It is a very strange feeling, and to tell the truth, it feels surreal. I have enjoyed playing the remastered titles of respected seniors in the industry, but I never had the thought of having the opportunity to be a part of a remaster project based on a title I was involved on. When creating the key art for the remastered version, I faced the illustrations I drew in the past. Looking at Kalas in the drawings, I could vividly recall what I was thinking in the past when creating, the feeling of the tools I used, and the faces of the people who supported me. It really made me want to talk about each of my memories during development in the past, recall how much fun I had and how fortunate I was to have the opportunity to work on such a good title. These games have stood the test of time and the fanbase enjoys various aspects of the games. What do you personally enjoy most about them? Honne: While I am very confident and proud of the background artwork since I take the worldview and the use of colors very seriously in the game, at the same time Baten Kaitos is a game where all development staff worked hard; hand-and-hand together like an orchestra, skillfully piling up their own rich and dignified notes. For my favorite, I personally would choose Mira, the City of Illusion that goes its own ways. Kojima: The charming character designs, the uplifting music, and everything apart of those are lovely, but if I had to pick only one thing, it would be the fact that the player can become a spirit and participate in the story. This wonderful world setting is what I love about Baten Kaitos. Higurashi: Hmm, will it sound like I am lying if I say I love all of them? I’m a big fan of Baten Kaitos so I can list out a lot of different elements, but if I need to choose just one, I will say I love the story of the characters the best. Every character has their own desires and emotions, and I feel like all characters and the universe of Baten Kaitos have their own souls. Do you have any special message to fans who are experiencing these games for the very first time? Honne: Although the original games were released 20 years ago, I hope you can enjoy going on a relaxing journey in the world of Baten Kaitos I and II. I am sure that wonderful memories will be made. Kojima: Baten Kaitos is a fantasy RPG in which you and your companion explore a wide variety of landscapes. It is such a classic RPG, yet it is filled with various innovations, including an innovative battle system. We hope you will enjoy this journey away from your daily lives. Higurashi: We are very happy to bring to you the remastered version for Baten Kaitos. Although the original titles were released 20 years ago, they are still such masterpieces that even me as a creator is very eager to share from a fan's perspective! I am confident that those who are playing the games for the first time will enjoy this remaster. The Music of Baten Kaitos with Motoi Sakuraba What was it like revisiting your work on Baten Kaitos? Is there anything surprising about relistening to compositions you made in the past? Sakuraba: The orchestra pieces sounded beautiful. The arrangement is simple and the melody is easy to enjoy. I was surprised when listening to the rock pieces and other tracks with synthesizer because I remembered I had a lot of creative freedom when composing them. Is there a piece of music in the games that you are particularly proud of? Sakuraba: I’m proud of all the battle songs from Baten Kaitos I & II. I like them because they show my true side the most. The other one is "Le ali del principio" from Baten Kaitos II. My daughter, who was a small child at the time, sang it. She did her best to sing it in Italian until the end of the song. The Baten Kaitos soundtracks incorporate many different elements from grand symphonic orchestration to synthesizers/prog rock. Can you describe your creative process a little bit? Sakuraba: Many of the songs in the Baten Kaitos soundtrack were not created with a specific musical genre in mind but rather came naturally as a result of trying to bring out my feeling. So, I didn't have any idea of what elements I wanted to include in these songs. To create these songs, I needed to understand the emotions for the scene, and if possible, I referred to the visual. Then I tried to adjust or rethink the piece I made by discussing with the producers. What I tried to achieve with the Baten Kaitos I & II soundtrack, and this goes for other titles as well, is to make the music blend perfectly with the gameplay so people are fully immersed when playing the game. Did your creative approach change between the first and second game? Sakuraba: In Baten Kaitos I, battle songs usually emphasized hardness. In Baten Kaitos II, acoustic instruments such as piano and violin were also used, adding a light atmosphere to the songs. In addition, one thing that I incorporated into Baten Kaitos II that I couldn’t in Baten Kaitos I was putting actual vocal sounds into the main songs. Do you have a message for new players who will experience these games for the first time? Sakuraba: We hope you will enjoy this work with its unique atmosphere and music! It would be great if you would listen to the music because it is very easy to understand.
  13. @Pioneer1 Does the non basic form of your definition have percentages or specifics? When you say safe, what do you mean? the NYPD has buildings full of domestic abuse cases they never bothered with. By safe what do you mean? When you say establishing hospitals does that include ability to reach hospitals? In NYC , historically, top quality healthcare has always been blockaded to the majority of the populace including even traveling. and throughout the usa, many don't have a hospital near where they live. Based on your basic definition, it allows a majority of governments in humanity to b deemed effective or not effective based on the specificty your basic definition doesn't have ? is your basic definition effective in defining effective government then?
  14. @Troy why? I admit, my definition of what makes a leader is specific, it isn't an open net that many can fit into. One of my rules is, the qualities you have don't require big chairs. Obama wasn't the leader of the black community in the congressional district he won, that is why he lost trying to court the black vote and won by splitting the black vote and gaining most of the white. Again, the problem is many black people who are well known can't even be considered the leader of black people in the city or state they live in, so how can they be the leader to the entire black populace in the usa. I don't comprehend how the assumption you allude to can be made unless one has a very very wide and in my view, foolish sense of what makes a leader.
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