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Ant sperm gain speed by swimming in teams

A species of ant has evolved sperm that bundle together to increase their swimming speed.

Researchers from Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium observed the behaviour in the desert ant, Cataglyphis savignyi.

Since queen ants mate multiple times, a male’s sperm must compete with those of other males in order to reach the spermatheca, the female organ for sperm storage.

Bundles of 50-100 sperm are on average 51% faster than lone sperm cells, suggesting that this “team swimming” evolved to give males a competitive fertilisation advantage.

Read more at Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)

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