More disturbing news from the Feathered Forager – or to be more precise, for the Feathered Forager.
Scientists have discovered that female chickens have a remarkable ability to choose the father of their eggs, by ejecting the sperm of unsuitable males.
According to a report in the American Naturalist magazine, “the way females utilize the gametes of different males has important consequences for sexual selection, sexual conflict and intersexual co-evolution in natural populations”.
The researchers at Oxford University and the University of Uppsala in Sweden studied both the probability that sperm is ejected by female chickens and the amount that is ejected, (rather them than me!)
“While larger ejaculates suffered a higher ejection risk, smaller ejaculates suffered more intense ejection,” they said.
On average, sperm ejection neutralized 80% of all sperm, with socially subdominant males suffering the highest rejection rate.
Gunter, the Feathered Forager, was not available for comment….