The real news is terrible right now, so here is a random science story from September 2001.

Sexual selection is a fascinating little cupboard of biology. My previous boss started out as a biologist working on sperm competition. As a full professor he amusingly listed one of his interests as “spermatogenesis”. He worked on mice, but birds provide the most famous manifestation of extreme sexual selection: the absurdly ornate plumage of peacocks.

Often when I’m walking through a park with friends and a duck conversation starts I mention another example: the unfeasible length of male ducks’ penises. They usually think I am spinning them a yarn. I’m not.