Here’s the angle: If He is present and guiding things from a Divine Blueprint, why on earth did God place waste removal (defecation and urination) so close to reproduction and sexual pleasure? And why are all of these activities so very close to the end of most precious anatomic real estate of all, the spinal cord? I mean, we are supposed to be well-designed–as the Poet said, “What a piece of work is a man.”

Enter the cloaca. Birds and reptiles and amphibians each have this final collecting system, called the cloaca after the Latin for “sewer,” for waste (urine and feces) and for reproduction. (OK, it’s a little more complex than that–most birds use the cloaca for all three activities but a few avian males have a penis). And some reptiles add a fourth function to the overworked cloacal repository–that of respiration as well. A wondrous receptacle indeed.