Penile sheath

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Almost all mammal penises have foreskins or prepuce,[1] although in non-human cases the foreskin is usually a sheath (sometimes called the preputial sheath,[2] praeputium[3] or penile sheath[4]) into which the whole penis is retracted. In koalas, the foreskin contains naturally occurring bacteria that play an important role in fertilization.[5] In some bat species, the prepuce contains an erectile tissue structure called the accessory corpus cavernosus.[6]

During musth, a male elephant may urinate with the penis still in the sheath, which causes the urine to spray on the hind legs.[7]

Male dogs have a conspicuous penis sheath.[8]

In stallions, the retractor penis muscle contracts to retract the stallion's penis into the sheath and relaxes to allow the penis to extend from the sheath.[9]

The penis sheath of a male axis deer is elongated and urine-stained. When rubbing trees with their horns, these stags sometimes move the penis back and forth rapidly inside its sheath.[10] Male bison and fallow deer have tufts of fur at the end of their penis sheaths.[11]

In rodents, the length of the prepuce is related to urine marking behavior.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fahmy, Mohamed A. Baky. "Prepuce." Rare Congenital Genitourinary Anomalies. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2015. 33-41.
  2. ^ Edward C. Feldman (2004). Canine and feline endocrinology and reproduction. Elsevier Health Sciences. pp. 934–. ISBN 978-0-7216-9315-6. Archived from the original on 31 December 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  3. ^ Horst Erich König; Hans-Georg Hans-Georg; H. Bragulla (2007). Veterinary Anatomy of Domestic Mammals: Textbook and Colour Atlas. Schattauer Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7945-2485-3. Archived from the original on 2016-05-11. Retrieved 2019-12-13.
  4. ^ The behavior guide to African mammals: including hoofed mammals, carnivores, primates. University of California Press. 1991. pp. 116–. ISBN 978-0-520-08085-0. Retrieved 25 April 2013. penile sheath OR penis sheath OR prepuce.
  5. ^ "UQ researchers unlock another koala secret". 2001-05-09. Archived from the original on 2013-05-12. Retrieved 2012-07-16.
  6. ^ Elizabeth G. Crichton; Philip H. Krutzsch (12 June 2000). Reproductive Biology of Bats. Academic Press. pp. 104–. ISBN 978-0-08-054053-5.
  7. ^ Sukumar, pp. 100–08.
  8. ^ George B. Schaller (15 October 2009). The Serengeti Lion: A Study of Predator-Prey Relations. University of Chicago Press. pp. 329–. ISBN 978-0-226-73660-0. Archived from the original on 28 May 2013. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  9. ^ "The Stallion: Breeding Soundness Examination & Reproductive Anatomy". University of Wisconsin-Madison. Archived from the original on 2007-07-16. Retrieved 7 July 2007.
  10. ^ Valerius Geist (1998). Deer of the World: Their Evolution, Behaviour and Ecology. Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-0496-0. Archived from the original on 23 June 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  11. ^ Fiona Reid (15 November 2006). Peterson Field Guide to Mammals of North America: Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 978-0-547-34553-6. Archived from the original on 23 June 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  12. ^ Maruniak, J. A., Claude Desjardins, and F. H. Bronson. "Adaptations for urinary marking in rodents: Prepuce length and morphology Archived 2018-07-20 at the Wayback Machine." Journal of Reproduction and Fertility 44.3 (1975): 567-570.

Further reading[edit]