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雄性小墨鱼拥有大精子

(2011-08-10 18:03:17)
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胡德良

小墨鱼

大精子

受精

卵子

杂谈

分类: 生命科学

雄性小墨鱼拥有大精子

Small Male Squid Pack Big Sperm

by Virginia Morell    胡德良

 Small male squid can't beat their bigger rivals when courting a female, so they resort to a sneakier tactic: deploying their sperm at the last moment. After a female chooses a large male, he places his sperm packet inside her oviduct and stays with her until she spawns so that no other male has a chance to mate with her. But smaller males hang out close to the nuptial pair and rush in to mate with her just as she releases her eggs. These diminutive Romeos place packages of sperm on the outside of the female's body, close to her sperm storage organ, just below her mouth. The sperm thus fertilize some of her eggs as she deposits them on the sea floor. Although the sneakier males don't inseminate as many eggs as their rivals do, it is still an effective tactic, researchers report today in BMC Evolutionary Biology. Lab studies also reveal that, despite their size, small squid make bigger sperm than large squid. That's not because the bigger sperm outcompete the smaller ones; instead, they're large because they have to withstand the harsh environment outside of a female's body.  向异性求爱时,雄性小墨鱼竞争不过那些块头较大的对手,因此它们采用一种非光明正大的策略:在最后一刻布置好自己的精子。在雌性墨鱼选择了大个儿雄性之后,该雄性墨鱼将自己的精包放进雌性的输卵管里,然后跟雌性厮守,直到大量产卵为止,以便其他雄性找不到机会与之交配。但是较小的墨鱼就在这对夫妇附近闲荡,就在雌性产卵的同时,冲进来与之交配。这些痴情的小墨鱼把精包放在雌性体外接近存储精子的器官处——嘴巴下面。这样,当雌性将卵子放到海底时,就会使其中的一些卵子受精。今天,研究人员在《BMC进化生物学》上报道说,尽管这些鬼鬼祟祟的雄性小墨鱼不如它们的对手能让更多的卵子受精,但仍然不失为一个有效的策略。实验室研究还表明,尽管雄性小墨鱼的块头小,但是它们能够制造出比大墨鱼更大的精子,这并不是因为较大的精子比较小的精子在竞争上更占优势,而是因为这些较大的精子好承受得住雌性体外恶劣的环境。

   

译自:美国《科学》杂志网站9 August 2011, 8:01 PM

原著:Virginia Morell

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