Castrati literati

What greets my RSS reader this morning? Why, this Reuters article:

Scientists study secrets of the castrati
Best-known castrated singer's remains exhumed in Italy

It seems to me their secret is out in the open...

...
His remains were to be taken to Bologna University for study by a team of scientists, including an acoustics expert who was eager to find remains of the vocal chords and larynx to discover what gave castrati such extraordinary vocal range and power.

Well, it looks from the picture like there's not much chance of that.

"We want to know if they were like the cartoons at the time depicted them, tall and dangly, or with women's breasts and large buttocks, or like the grand gentleman in Farinellis official portraits," he told Reuters.

Hmm...as a general principle, I would say that taking anatomical knowledge from cartoons is probably not the way to go. But, if they are going there...

What's Opera Doc: Is Bugs Bunny a Castrato?
Anyone who's seen even a handful of the cartoons featuring Bugs and his nemesis Elmer Fudd may have noticed the frequency with which that "wascally wabbit" dresses in drag to stymie his persistent pursuer. For a while, I just assumed that it was part of the role-playing dynamic in their relationship. After all, every time Bugs donned a wig and a dress, Elmer's interest shifted from blood sports to courtship (never mind that some people seem to think of them as the same thing).