International Journal of Primatology

, 10:47

Sexual selection, genital morphology, and copulatory behavior in male Galagos

  • A. F. Dixson
Special Issue: Galago Symposium, Part II

DOI: 10.1007/BF02735703

Cite this article as:
Dixson, A.F. Int J Primatol (1989) 10: 47. doi:10.1007/BF02735703


Variations in penile morphology among galago species are pronounced and complex. Comparative studies of galagos and other primate species show that elongation of the baculum (os penis)is associated with copulatory patterns involving a prolonged period of intromission. The enlarged penile “spines” of male galagos may be important in maintaining a genital “lock” during copulation. In primate species where females mate with a number of partners, sexual selection may have favored the rapid evolution of such features of penile morphology and masculine copulatory behavior. It is suggested that evolution of complex penile morphologies in galagos has been influenced by sexual selection and that such morphological variations are extremely useful in taxonomic studies.

Key words

galagoprimate evolutionpenile morphologysexual behavior

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. F. Dixson
    • 1
  1. 1.MRC Reproductive Biology UnitCentre for Reproductive BiologyEdinburghUK