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Long-Tailed Field Mouse Video Stock Footage

One interesting observation about the species, in particular the males, is the morphology of the spermatozoa. They develop falciform (sickle-shaped) heads after meiosis and before spermiation (release during ejaculation). The hook located at the tip of the head adheres to the surface of the head prior to deployment. Propidium iodide staining revealed that only the basal surface of the hook is of nuclear origin. These apical hooks are deployed in female reproductive tract (mechanism responsible involved the remodeling of actin filaments in the hook). Deployed apical hooks combine with apical hooks and flagella of other spermatozoa. The aggregates of spermatozoa that result form "mobile trains", which have experimentally been determined to possess better motility in the female reproductive tract. The mobility of these mobile trains was also found to be influenced by premature acrosome reactions, altruistic acts performed by some spermatozoa for the benefit of other genetically similar gametocytes. This altruism follows a "green beard" mechanism in which spermatozoa discern the genetic similarity of surrounding gametocytes (such mechanisms are rare because they must code for a recognizable phenotype, as well as response mechanisms). Once spermatozoa of similar genotypes are identified, altruism genes are turned on to elicit a response that seeks to conserve the genes present in the other cell, even if it results in the destruction of the cell performing the action. The gesta...

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Animalia: Chordata: Rodentia: Mammalia: Muridae: Apodemus sylvaticus

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