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February 26, 1898

The Alleged Castration of Squirrels.

JAMA. 1898;XXX(9):503. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.02440610051018

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Abstract

Hudson, Ohio, Feb. 8, 1898.

To the Editor:  —In a recent Journal Dr. Taylor has a communication with this heading "Do adult squirrels castrate each other?" A better heading would be "Do any squirrels castrate each other?"In Vol. iii, page 646 of Owen's "Anatomy of Vertebrates" you will find a description of the male organs of the rodentia. Among other things he says: "The testes undergo a periodical increase of size and change of position, passing from the abdomen into a sessile scrotum and being again retracted, after the rut, within the abdomen." This change of position involving the disappearance of these glands, which are very conspicuous during the rutting season, has given origin to the belief that the males were often castrated. The Doctor notes a very significant fact that this supposed castration by another squirrel leaves no visible scar. If a surgeon will perform the operation with

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