Swedish scientists found a fossilized cocoon in Antarctica that contains the world’s oldest sperm.
The discovery of the fossilized sperm found on the walls of the 50-million-year-old worm cocoon.strikingBy scientists.
The findings say that it is the oldest animal sperm ever found, for example.
Benjamin Bomfleur, a researcher at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, said the discovery was by accident.
While on an expedition on Seymour Island in the Antarctic Peninsula, Thomas Mors, also a paleobiologist, was looking for his small mammal bones when he encountered a fossilized cocoon.
Dr Mors gave the cocoon to Dr Bomfleur, who described it as a kitelite worm cocoon.
When the researchers looked at the cocoon walls to examine its structure, they were surprised to find fragments of the creature's sperm.
The sperm of the Clitellate worm is very short-lived and therefore rare to find, but it can be preserved for a long time as it gets stuck in the jelly-like cocoon before it hardens.
Scientists using radiometric dating have discovered that sperm goes back to the early Eocene Period.
The sample was exceptionally well preserved, but it did not contain any organic matter or DNA.
The discovery exceeds the previous record of 10 million years.