Sexually reproducing ancient crustaceans had sperm that were literally larger than life, according to a new study to be published in next week's issue of Science. The finding suggests that despite the extreme energetic costs of producing such sperm, the trait might be quite evolutionarily stable, the researchers say.
Electron micrograph image
of ostracode sperm

Image: Renate Matzke-Karasz
"This study fills a real gap by, for the first time, actually going back into the fossil record and examining the structure of sperm and of the female reproductive tract," said evolutionary biologist linkurl:Scott Pitnick; of Syracuse University in New York, who was not involved in the research. "They've gone back 100 million years and found the signature of giant sperm and of the interacting female sperm storage organs." Giant sperm are found in a variety of extant animal taxa, but until now, there has been no evidence of the enormous...
Harbinia micropapillosaH. micropapillosa

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