This article headline just popped up in my BBC feed: “Size anxiety: Smaller squid produce bigger sperm.” A headline like that definitely grabbed my attention, so I clicked and headed toward the article in question.
The article describes exactly what it says in the title: small spear squid use their bigger sperm to compete with the bigger squid for the ladies. The “bigger is better” idea that humans have embraced has shown up in other species as well, and not just in the obvious way. If you can’t be big in one way, be big in another. But the fact that these squid make larger sperm to compensate is interesting in itself since they’re the first known species to do so. Is it possible that other species do the same thing? Humans produce one kind of sperm, but there are lots of other species out there for study. Maybe one of them also produces sperm in a similar fashion.
Anyone want to be a sperm scientist and find out?