Small beats Big

by duncanr

Sperm compete in a race to fertilise an egg. The faster ‘swimmers’ – those doing the crawl rather than the breast-stroke – are more likely to win the race.

Longer sperm have always been ass­umed to swim faster than their shorter, more nobbly stumpy, colleagues because of the size of their tails.

But, although increased tail length means more thrust, this can be cancelled out by the drag of a correspondingly larger head, scientists reveal today.

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