Parsons, Thomas S. Ramsay Wright Zoological Laboratories, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Last reviewed:April 2021
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The male organ of copulation, or phallus. The penis is the male genital organ of many animals (see illustration). In mammals, the penis consists basically of three elongated masses of erectile tissue. The central corpus spongiosum (corpus urethrae) lies ventral to the paired corpora cavernosa. The urethra runs along the underside of the spongiosum and then normally rises to open at the expanded, cone-shaped tip—the glans penis—which fits like a cap over the end of the penis. Loose skin encloses the penis and also forms the retractable foreskin, or prepuce. The organ is held firmly in place by fibrous tissue and ligaments that bind it to the posterior surface of the pubic arch. In some mammals, although not humans, there may be spines on the glans penis, or there may be a bone (the baculum) within the penis; both of these features are useful in classifying certain types of mammals. See also: Copulatory organ; Mammalia; Reproductive system
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 46 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information