sperm competition Competition between sperm from different males to reach and fertilize the egg cell of a single female. Sperm competition can occur among rodents in which a male mates a number of times with the same female, with a rest period between successive matings during which the sperm journeys towards the egg. If a second male mates with the female during a rest period its own sperm may disrupt the movement of sperm from the first male and succeed in fertilizing the egg cell. Certain animals in which sperm competition is possible have evolved features to minimize this interference. For example, in moths and butterflies the male cements the opening of the female genitalia after mating, thereby preventing further matings with other males. An ingenious mechanism operates in the fly Johannseniella nitida, in which the female eats a copulating male except for his genitalia, which remain in the body of the female and prevent further mating.
sperm competition The competition to fertilize an ovum which occurs among sperm from different males when the female has mated with more than one partner. It is believed that certain sperms, different in appearance from ordinary sperms and incapable of fertilizing the ovum, but present in large numbers, are involved in repelling or disabling sperms from the rival male.
sperm competition The competition to fertilize an ovum that occurs among sperm from different males when the female has mated with more than one partner. It is believed that certain sperms, different in appearance to ordinary sperms and incapable of fertilizing the ovum, but present in large numbers, are involved in repelling or disabling sperms from the rival male.
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