One look at us Scots is enough to show how it was our fishy ancestors who invented sex

To know that millennia of love-making are down to the romantic entanglements of a Scottish trout is enormously pleasing

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Scots, of course, are famed throughout the world (well, in Scotland) for inventing a whole host of things: telephones, televisions, penicillin, marmalade and flushing toilets being only a few.

But now it turns out that we Scots invented sex. Och aye the woo-hoo! Well, to be entirely accurate, Scottish fish invented sex, but that’s fine… we’ll add it to our smug list of over-achievements.

Research published in the scientific magazine Nature confirms that, around 385m years ago, an armoured fish called Microbrachius dicki (stop sniggering at the back) was the first-known creature to reproduce by having actual sex, like we do.

That’s not to say that it downloaded a Heart 106.2 Super Smooch compilation, washed under its fins and heated up a Waitrose lasagne for two. No – and forgive me, but there’s really no way of putting this delicately –  the real innovation was in the actual penetration and transfer of "the goods" from male to female.

The blokes achieved this by dint of having bony, L-shaped protrusions in their toilet area called claspers. These would make sure the chap was locked fast to the female during the Jurassic rutting in the riverbed.

Now, I’m no scientist, but even I know that the need for such immobility is down to the lack of friction in your average river. As we all know, if you’re going to get down and dirty, you need some purchase; something to push against, be it the bottom of the bed or, in the case of some of my compatriots, the back wall of their local Iceland.

Personally, to know that millennia of love-making are down to the romantic entanglements of a Scottish trout is enormously pleasing. Of course, modern Scottish men still love to clasp their special someone closely, but nowadays we prefer other methods.

And while we may not employ L-shaped protrusions any more, we still know how to treat a lady. Witness the sales of vintage Irn-Bru and fur-lined gaffa tape around Valentine’s Day if you don’t believe me…

 

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