Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Egg Being Fertilized By More Than One Sperm In Birds?

Birds' eggs are fertilized by more than one sperm, a process called polyspermy.  Studies have shown that more sperm in an egg is correlated with more viable offspring.  In birds, when more sperm fertilize an egg, the developing chick will make it full term before hatching as opposed to eggs with less sperm that are more likely to die during development.  In humans, polyspermy is very uncommon but does occur on occasion.  Many times, in humans, polyspermy leads to the death of the developing baby due to complications during meiosis because of all the extra chromosomes that are made.  It is still unknown why birds have to have more than one sperm fertilize their eggs, but future studies may find a better understanding to explain this.  This is very interesting because of how polyspermy varies from species to species.  If humans were to survive after undergoing polyspermy in utero, how would they look, or function? 

To read the article publised by the New York Times on birds and polyspermy, click HERE

1 comment:

  1. This seems like a very interesting concept; how would polyspermy affect humans? Would that potentially make out offspring more viable as well? I didn't even know this occurred in birds, very cool. I'm interested to see if any further discoveries in this subject are found with regards to humans and if these could potentially benefit humans in some way in the future.