As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday 12 November 2015

Birds require multiple sperm to penetrate eggs to ensure normal embryo development

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.

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