I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
- Jul 19, 2004
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- Out of Bounds
The oldest fossilized sperm discovered to date is circa 100 million years old, and it's remarkably large in comparison with the size of the crustacean who produced it.
FULL STORY: https://www.sciencealert.com/oldest...perm-discovered-in-100-million-year-old-amberOldest Animal Sperm to Date Was Just Discovered in 100-Million-Year-Old Amber
A 100-million-year-old chunk of amber has revealed the oldest-ever sample of animal sperm, and each individual cell is enormously long.
Even more impressive, this giant sperm - several times larger than human sperm - comes from a shrimp-like crustacean smaller than a poppyseed.
Just shy of 0.6 millimetres, this ancient bivalve belongs to a still-living class of microcrustacean known as ostracods, which are famous for housing sperm up to ten times larger than themselves.
That might sound impossible, but when these microscopic cells are twisted and tangled up into tiny little balls, they can travel through the female reproductive tract easily, fending off other, smaller tangles in competition. ...
It's also the oldest sample of animal sperm by a long shot. While other ostracod fossils from a hundred million years ago have shown hints of giant reproductive organs, we've never before gotten our hands on an actual sample from this time.
In 2014, 16-million-year-old freshwater ostracods, discovered in a cave in Australia, were found containing sperm 1.2 mm long. But the new specimen, discovered in Myanmar, is 83 million years older. In fact, it doubles the age of the oldest unequivocal fossil animal sperm. ...