Fishy Infidelity May Cause More Babies


A study of cichlid fish prove that males biologically adapt to promiscuous females.

There may be a biological reason why the K-Fed's of the world seem so darn good at knocking up star-quality women.

Their sperm is just keeping up with the times, baby. If they want to impregnate a lady as in demand as Britney (or even Shar Jackson), their little swimmers better step it up. Afterall, they're bound to have tons of competition.

A recent study surfaced analyzing the sperm of 29 different strains of cichlid fish which reminded us of this. The ladies of the breed are notorious philanderers and carouse the sea often mating with several males at at time.

While this is normally a male human trait, promiscuous female fish have caused a chain reaction of bigger and quicker sperm amongst males. As you can probably guess, the quicker the sperm, the more likely they'll win the procreation game and beat out the half-dozen finned friends vying for the dashing lady cichlid making her rounds.

In fact, as reported in the U.S. journal The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers have named this phenomenon "super-sperm." And super-sperm does in fact live up to it's name—scientists can't pinpoint a negative attribute associated with the quicker swimmers, which is rare. They note there are often a string of trade-offs in scientific discoveries like these.

So. Does this present itself amongst homosapiens? As women become more equal and sexually liberated (not too unlike those cichlid fish) will human sperm adapt by becoming bigger and better? Or have they already? Does K-Fed have super-sperm?

"We cannot rule out that similar mechanisms may have made humans the way they are today," said study co-author Niclas Kolm, an evolutionary biologist from the University of Uppsala in Sweden.

Rather this just may be food for thought on how all species naturally adapt to making the most babies, they say.

"This is one of the few [studies] that gives a good explanation for why sperm size and shape are so variable across the animal kingdom," commented Tim Birkhead, an evolutionary biologist from the University of Sheffield in the U.K., who was not involved with the study. "It shows that sperm design is shaped by natural selection to be effective in competitive situations."