Scientists discover world's first fossilized sperm, and they're humongous

May 14, 2014 8:59 PM

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Scientists discover world's first fossilized sperm, and they're humongous

Five exquisitely preserved seed shrimp in a Miocene Era bat cave give a detailed snapshot of an ancient postcoital moment. Their fossilized sperm are the world's first, and they are enormous. Scientists don't know why.

In a watery, bat-dense cave in Australia some 17 million years ago, tragedy befell a cluster of seed shrimp during their mating season. Immediately upon copulating, at least five of the tiny, water-borne crustaceans were abruptly covered with sediment – a splotch of bat guano, perhaps, or a clod of ...

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