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sperm train


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A phenomenon observed in wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus) in which large numbers of sperm join together, using hooks on their heads or by holding on to the tail of the sperm in front, to form a train that swims at twice the speed of an individual spermatozoon. Forming a train increases the chance that the leading sperm will fertilize the female (see sperm competition). It is the only sperm able to do so, because all but the leading sperm undergo an acrosome reaction that releases enzymes, rendering the sperm infertile.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.


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