Date: October 27, 2015
Source: University of Sheffield
A new study by scientists at the University of Sheffield revealed there is a functional role for 'extra' sperm in the early stages of embryo development. This is very different to humans and other mammals where the entry of more than one sperm into an egg is lethal.
Researchers also discovered female birds are able to regulate the number of sperm that make it to the egg, ensuring that sufficient sperm are available for fertilisation -- particularly when the numbers of inseminated sperm are limited.
The study, led by Dr Nicola Hemmings from the University's Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, gives an insight into the biological significance of polyspermy which is a major puzzle in reproductive biology.