Thanks to 72-year-old Dutchman Jan Jeucken, researchers finally know what late flyers (a species of bat) do with their comparatively gigantic penis. The male bats do not use their exceptionally large genitals for penetration, but as a kind of arm during mating.
Jeucken has been filming the bats in the attic of the St. Matthias Church in Castenray near Venray in Limburg for years. European scientists have been able to study how bats mate through his images. Jeucken has 93 pairings on screen.
The male pushes the female’s tail skin aside with his penis. This is followed by a long, silent embrace, during which sperm is transferred. How exactly this happens needs to be further investigated, says Jeucken.
For the first time, it has been recorded how a mammal reproduces without penetrating during mating, reports a “baffled” researcher from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
The late flyer’s penis is about seven times longer than the length of the vaginas of female late flyers. Also notable is that the glans expands in the shape of a heart and becomes much wider than the partner’s vagina. This makes any penetration impossible, the researchers say.