Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How much sex is enough?

Date:
January 24, 2011
Source:
BioMed Central
Summary:
Society has long debated the contrasting advantages of monogamy and promiscuity and, in Western society at least, the long-term benefits of monogamy have in general won out. However new research shows that sperm from polygamous mice are better competitors in the race for fertilization.

Society has long debated the contrasting advantages of monogamy and promiscuity and, in western society at least, the long term benefits of monogamy have in general won out. However new research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology shows that sperm from polygamous mice are better competitors in the race for fertilisation.

Dr Renιe Firman at the Centre for Evolutionary Biology, University of Western Australia, has used house mice to show that sperm from rival males compete to fertilise females and that, over several generations, polygamy can select for mice who produce more sperm, with stronger motility, than monogamous males.

After 12 generations of competitive selection (polygamous) or relaxed selection (monogamous) female mice were mated twice, in succession, with males from both groups. While 53% of the litters had mixed paternity, 33% of litters were fathered by the polygamous males compared to 14% by monogamous males. Polygamous males retained this advantage regardless of whether they were mated first or second, demonstrating that the increased fitness applies to both offensive and defensive competition. The selection procedure had no obvious effect on male size or behaviour, nor did it affect female fertility.

So in the age old debate about the merits of monogamy versus polygamy, it seems that, for male mice at least, the more partners you have the more fertile your offspring will be.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Renιe C. Firman, Leigh W. Simmons. Experimental evolution of sperm competitiveness in a mammal. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 2011; 11: 19 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2148-11-19

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central. "How much sex is enough?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110120073504.htm>.
BioMed Central. (2011, January 24). How much sex is enough?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110120073504.htm
BioMed Central. "How much sex is enough?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110120073504.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, spiders that live in cities are bigger, fatter and multiply faster. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle

Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) — South Koreans eat more instant ramen noodles per capita than anywhere else in the world. But American researchers say eating too much may increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins