SEX in graphic detail is on show at the Natural History Museum from today (Friday 11 February) with a new exhibition that lifts the bed sheets on animal reproduction.

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Included in the event is a live sex show put on by a tank full of guppies.

Among other highlights in Sexual Nature are revelations that snakes have a forked penis and that London Zoo’s legendary Guy the Gorilla had a one inch member. Erect. At the other end of the male-scale, there’s a barnacle with a schlong 30 times its own body length.

“I’m looking forward to seeing visitors’ reactions,” says Richard Sabin, curator at the Natural History Museum.

“They’ll have seen animal courtship on television, but nothing quite as graphic as here. What we hope is that it wipes away the whole thing about this being a taboo subject. Because, of course, nothing could be more natural.”

It might no longer be taboo, but sex is still enough of a touchy subject that this exhibition is for over 16s only.

Sexual Nature continues at the Natural History Museum until 2 October 2011.