According tomedia New Atlas, a team of American scientists has just solved a long-standing biological mystery – how do thousands of footworms mate? By using a variety of novel imaging methods, including micro-UV photography and micro-CT scans, the study finally figured out how these tiny creatures mated.
“This is the first time we’ve learned how these chigs interact with each other, and how male and female organs interact,” said Petra Sierwald of the Field Museum in Chicago. Until then we didn’t know how sperm got into the female organism. “
The new study looked at a small Brown foot worm called Pseudopolydesmus in North America. “They can even mate in light in a lab petri dish, ” says Sierwald. “Using a number of modern imaging techniques, the team found unexpected, previously unknown details that illustrated how the chitosis mated. First, researchers need to understand exactly how male chitosers get sperm into female chiboe.
The chip is one of the few organisms that uses a special limb called reproductive limb to transfer sperm to a female. The new study found that the neutrino releases sperm from the gonads and then distorts itself, using its reproductive limbs to cover the sperm. The male horned foot animal then hooks its tiny claws into the female vulva and enters the specific ridge of the vulva. This is the first time researchers have described this mating relationship with the thousand footworms.
Another mystery solved by the new study is a strange source of secretionthat that keeps sperm in the vulva of female thousand footworms. The effect of this process is to concentrate the sperm until the female lays the egg, which is then wrapped in the sperm as the egg leaves the body.
“Before we did this study, we really didn’t know where the secretion came from,” Sierwald explained. I’ve always thought that secretions come from males because I think males want to seal off the females so they don’t mate again. But now, after seeing the glands of the female vulva through a CT scan, I think most of the secretion comes from the female, and I don’t know if that’s how she protects the vulva or preserves the sperm. This is an area that requires further study. “
Sierwald said the study is important not only to better understand the relationship between chipotles, but also to provide insight into how different chipotles species have evolved. And, of course, it answers an urgent question that many entomologists have been asking for decades – what does a thousand-footed vulva look like?
The new study was published in the journal Arthropod Structure and Development.