Sperm Energy Production

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Human Uniqueness Compared to "Great Apes": 
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Human sperm differ from those of other hominids in their energetics. Our closest living relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos produce sperm with much higher energetics. Their sperm generate more energy (as measured by fluorescent staining of their mitochondrial matrix potential), travel faster and with more force (as measured by optical tweezers/ laser trapping) and remain highly energized for longer periods of time (days) than human sperm. Limited data on gorilla sperm indicate much lower levels of sperm energy production, swimming velocity and force. There are no data on sperm energetics of orangutan sperm.

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  1. The use of optical tweezers to study sperm competition and motility in primates., Nascimento, Jaclyn M., Shi Linda Z., Meyers Stuart, Gagneux Pascal, Loskutoff Naida M., Botvinick Elliot L., and Berns Michael W. , J R Soc Interface, 2008 Mar 6, Volume 5, Issue 20, p.297-302, (2008)
  2. Functional evidence for differences in sperm competition in humans and chimpanzees, Anderson, M. J., Chapman S. J., Videan E. N., Evans E., Fritz J., Stoinski T. S., Dixson A. F., and Gagneux P. , Am J Phys Anthropol, Oct, Volume 134, Number 2, p.274-80, (2007)