Oldest animal sperm found in Antarctica
Ever wonder what really, really old sperm looks like? Well, me neither but I'm proud to say we can show you anyway.
Scientists went digging around Antarctica when they found this 50-million-year-old sperm sample. And no, that wasn't exactly their agenda.
A paleobiologist was looking for signs of small mammal bones on Seymour Island when he came across a fossilized cocoon that contained the ancient seed.Upon further examination it was determined that the cocoon and its contents were at least 50-million-years-old, making it the oldest animal sperm ever identified.
But who- or what- did it belong to? To figure that out, scientists had to dig into their giant stash of sperm pictures — naturally.
They determined it belonged to a crawfish worm — also known as a yabbie parasite, which creates a cocoon that protects an egg and sperm during reproduction.
The cocoon is made up of sticky mucus that hardens in a matter of days and is able to preserve its contents for centuries — even 50 million years.