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Sunday, 12 August 2007

Promiscuity

Hey all,
This wasn't supposed to end up here, but I figured it fits better here, so, read on, it's fun all right...

Whether sperm fly at high speed or laze their way towards an egg might depend on how much competition they face, suggests a new analysis of sperm samples. The study reveals that promiscuous primate species have faster sperm than their more monogamous counterparts.

Jaclyn Nascimento at the University of California in San Diego, US, and her colleagues received sperm samples from humans, gorillas, chimpanzees and rhesus monkeys for analysis. Researchers had collected sperm samples from the latter two species using artificial vaginas, while the gorillas were trained to give up sperm (with the helping hand of a researcher) (LOL) in exchange for candy.

After examining numerous sperm from the two men who provided sperm samples, the team calculated that human sperm travel at about 0.2 metres per hour, a finding within the same range as some previous studies.

By comparison, the sperm from chimpanzees and macaques – which are much more sexually promiscuous than humans – appears to travel at a rate of 0.7 m/h. Sperm from gorillas – a relatively monogamous species in which females tend to mate with just one male – is "ridiculously slow" and clocks in at just 0.1 m/h, according to Nascimento.

Nascimento says the findings suggest that sperm from promiscuous species such as chimps, where a female might mate with multiple males within an hour, have evolved to move faster as a result of competition. "The first ones to make it to the egg" succeed, she says.

Gorilla mating, on the other hand, follows a harem-like pattern: females are more likely to mate with only the dominant male. "You are the best by default," Nascimento says of the leisurely sperm in the less promiscuous primates.

What's the moral? Monogamy provokes laziness...Yay for the Promiscuity! And for the researchers giving a hand-job to gorillas ... everything in the name of science :)
Actually I really can't think of a better moral, I mean, should women be more promiscuous to stimulate mens sperm? And does that mean that the long-tolerated limitations on women sexuality led to decay in the humans intellectual and physical qualities, because of bad sperm? Possible...
source:
http://www.newscientist.com/channel/being-human/dn12345?DCMP=NLC-nletter&nsref=dn12345

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