It's been a HUGE day for Discourse Blog's fans of ducks (me). It started with this extremely tall boy circulating the internet:
Yes, he is so tall that you'll have to click through in order to see this picture of him without the top of his head cut off. While it's unclear what @DickKingSmith is quoting from, there is some other evidence that this duck is real, rather than a trick of the internet (or three smaller ducks wearing a big duck costume and standing on each other's little duck shoulders).
According to an informative post on YorScience, which bills itself as "an online science magazine by University of York students for students!", the duck, charmingly known around campus as "Longboi," is in fact a "hybrid of a typical mallard duck and an Indian Runner duck." The post continues:
Indian Runner Ducks are rather easy to spot due to their peculiar appearance. Unlike most ducks, they stand tall, with an erect posture.
Similarly to other ducks, Longboi and other Indian Runners are able to swim as well as fly, however, Indian Runners are known to fly less due to their running abilities.
Now I know exactly what to tell my parents when they ask around the dinner table what I learned today! (Note: I do not live with my parents.) The post also features numerous other photos that show different angles of the Longboi and I want to believe, so that's that in my book.
As you might imagine, this all caused a considerable stir in Discourse Blog Slack, mostly debating whether "duck good" or "duck scary." Caitlin, my dad's favorite DB writer, offered this up:
But things took a disturbing turn when Caitlin dropped this fact, via LiveScience:
While most birds don't have any penis whatsoever, ducks do, and these prodigious members unfurl explosively when it's time to mate. Only recently did scientists discover that some female ducks have long, corkscrew-shaped vaginas that spiral in the opposite direction as the male's member. This allows the female to fight back against undesirable, notoriously aggressive males, since the duck's penis won't fit so easily. In this way, duck genitals look less like the byproducts of choosy females than the consequences of a sexual arms race, where male and female parts have evolved in response to each other's ever-advancing equipment.
Ducks—they're even more incredible creatures than I ever could've guessed or wanted to know.