“For freak lovers like me it’s like hitting the jackpot,” writes Lucy Cooke, zoologist and filmmaker, on her Nat Geo TV blog Freaks and Creeps. She’s talking about Tasmania, an island of Australia that’s “like a time machine. Its primeval forests teem with living fossils that have followed a different evolutionary branch to most mammals.”
Cooke, who is also a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, advocates for weird, freaky creatures. “They fascinate me because they tell an amazing evolutionary story,” she says.
In Tasmania she teamed up with Dr. Stuart Rose who has devoted the last 25 years of his life to studying the sex life of the echidna. The egg-laying mammal has extraordinary genitalia.
For more about the echidna’s unusual sex life, read Lucy Cooke’s blog post The Tasmanian Echidna’s Four-Headed Penis.
Related post: Mexican Fish Sports Bizarre Four-Hooked Penis
David Braun is director of outreach with the digital and social media team illuminating the National Geographic Society’s explorer, science, and education programs.
He edits National Geographic Voices, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society’s mission and major initiatives. Contributors include grantees and Society partners, as well as universities, foundations, interest groups, and individuals dedicated to a sustainable world. More than 50,000 readers have participated in 10,000 conversations.
Braun also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship.