Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chickens eject sperm from males they don't fancy

Date:
August 28, 2011
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
New research finds that even though hens aren't terribly picky about their mates, they are picky about whose sperm makes it to the egg. Female domestic chickens generally mate with multiple males and are known to sometimes eject sperm following mating encounters. It was unclear, however, whether the sperm ejection was a consequence of receiving a large amount of ejaculate, or because hens are actively trying to rid themselves of undesirable sperm.

While sexual coercion is common in fowl, females are able to exert a strong influence on fertilization by differentially dumping sperm of individual males.
Credit: Tommaso Pizzari

New research finds that even though hens aren't terribly picky about their mates, they are picky about whose sperm makes it to the egg. Female domestic chickens generally mate with multiple males and are known to sometimes eject sperm following mating encounters. It was unclear, however, whether the sperm ejection was a consequence of receiving a large amount of ejaculate, or because hens are actively trying to rid themselves of undesirable sperm.

A team led by Oxford researcher Rebecca Dean investigated the phenomenon in a group of feral chickens kept at Stockholm University in Sweden. After controlling for ejaculate size and other factors, Dean and her colleagues found that hens ejected a larger proportion of inseminations by socially subordinate males.

"These results show that promiscuous females can actively bias sperm utilization to exert a strong and predictable influence on the struggle for fertilization," Dean said. By doing so, females "retain control of paternity even in species such as fowl where males can force mating."

The research appears in the September 2011 issue of the The American Naturalist, published by The University of Chicago Press for The American Society of Naturalists.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Rebecca Dean, Shinichi Nakagawa, Tommaso Pizzari. The Risk and Intensity of Sperm Ejection in Female Birds. The American Naturalist, 2011; 178 (3): 343 DOI: 10.1086/661244

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Chickens eject sperm from males they don't fancy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110828210552.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2011, August 28). Chickens eject sperm from males they don't fancy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110828210552.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Chickens eject sperm from males they don't fancy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110828210552.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) 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