A team of paleontologists discovered what they believed to be the oldest animal sperm in the world. They were frozen in tiny crustaceans in a small piece of tree resin in Myanmar 100 million years ago.
According to a team of experts led by Wang He of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Nanjing, the oldest known fossil animal sperm example is only 17 million years old.
The researchers said in a paper published on Wednesday in the prestigious Proceedings of the Royal Society that the sperm was found in a crustacean that exists in beetles, which has been around for 500 million years. , Now can be found in many oceans.
Experts say they were found in the body of a female specimen, which suggests that she must be fertilized shortly before being trapped in tree resin.
To make the discovery more special, sperm is also called “giant”
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Co-author of the study, Renate Matzke-Karasz of the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich told AFP: “This is equivalent to about 1.70 meters in a human being. 7.30 meters, so a lot of energy is needed to produce them.
The female dragon was also named “Myanmarcypris hui” by scientists.
Quality instead of quantity
Experts say that the fossil shell of Osteosaurus is very common, but specimens with “soft parts” are rarely found.
During the Cretaceous period (approximately 145 to 66 million years ago), the theropods in question probably lived in the coastal waters of present-day Myanmar, where they were trapped in resin.
Most males in the animal kingdom (including humans) usually produce tens of millions of tiny sperm cells, but for Jackie Chan, its quality is related to quantity.
There are several conflicting theories regarding the evolutionary value of this giant sperm.
Matzke-Karasz said: “For example, experiments have shown that in one group, high competition between males can extend sperm lifespan, while in another group, low male competition can also extend sperm lifespan.”
This discovery shows that: “Reproduction with giant sperm is not an evolutionary luxury that is endangered, but a serious long-term advantage for species survival,” Matzke-Kalas concluded.