BUZZ Fam, scientists have discovered the world’s oldest animal sperm. Yes, you read that write, we don’t know why they were looking for it, but they found it, and it’s a 100 million years old.
It was frozen inside a tiny crustacean in a blob of tree resin in Myanmar, inside the body of a female ostracod. This indicates that she must have been fertilised shortly before being trapped in the tree resin, the experts, led by Wang He of the Chinese Academy of Science in Nanjing said.
Now, this is a big deal, because the oldest known examples of fossilised animal sperm were a mere 17 million years old. To make the find even more special, the sperm were also described as “giants”, measuring up to 4.6 times the size of the body of the male.
Fossilised shells of ostracods are common, but finding a specimen with “soft parts” is rare, the experts said.
The findings were published on Wednesday in the prestigious Royal Society’s Proceedings journal.