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jimihughes t1_iryhhtf wrote

So, contrary to popular thinking, we're programmed to COOPERATE before birth.

The "it's a dog eat dog world" professors can just suck it.

This world would be such a nicer place if we all looked out for everyone instead of just looking out for ourselves as we're programmed.


PerniciousCanidae t1_iryoef3 wrote

I get that it's rhetorical, but I think it's worth pointing out that sperm, of course, don't have brains or nerves of any kind. They're "cooperating" by getting stuck together unintentionally (because zygotes have a purpose, but not intentions of their own)


WhileNotLurking t1_iryl3pi wrote

That or bovine are heard animals from before birth. You would need to replicate this in non-herd / non-pack / non-social creatures to validate that hypothesis


InappropriateTA t1_irymqx8 wrote

Herd. I mean, they’re also heard if they make noise and someone is close enough to hear them…


Strazdas1 t1_is0a6cq wrote

They dont cooperate though. they literally ride other spermatozoids to save energy for their own run. If you call spermatozoids being programmed then they are programmed to benefit from the toil of others.


100kpm_matrice t1_is0lycx wrote

The problem is literally "prisoner's dilemna" you gonna be better by being selfsish IF everyone else cooperate with you.
If they don't, you gonna have a worse time than if you were cooperating with them.


nimnlil t1_iryf40o wrote

Is it cooperation or that going with the crowd is just easier to move farther faster?


DarkTreader t1_iryjk6r wrote

At this level isn't that the same thing?


[deleted] t1_iryo05v wrote



nimnlil t1_iryqsiu wrote

Yes! Thanks for saying it intelligently!


ramonycajal88 t1_iryra4k wrote

Agreed. Without the presence of an egg in this experiment, it's really tough to make any conclusions outside of sperm motility. Apparently, the egg chooses the sperm in natural environments. Recent studies are suggesting that even though the fastest and most capable sperms reach the ovum first, it is the egg that has the final say on which sperm fertilizes it.


Southern_Scholar_243 t1_is0upkw wrote

I magine it could be similar effect as cyclists sticking together. Front one pircing through the air and the rest benefiting from area with lesser pressure. Im not sure how this would work in high viscosity fluid


neil470 t1_irz5a4g wrote

Teamwork makes the d̶r̶e̶a̶m̶ cream work!


daverapp t1_iryv73p wrote

"Hey I hear you got a new job?"

"Yeah I work designing simulated reproductive tracts of animals like cattle and humans."

"What for?"

"What do you think they're for?


Ericgzg t1_irzdsnm wrote

Yeah this was my strategy. Me and my bro sperm were unstoppable and raced to the finish past all those loners. Right at the end though I cut his tail off and tossed him aside. There could be only one, after all.


vinx_finx t1_irypyem wrote

Gotta tag team that egg


Arlitto t1_irym7js wrote

3-legged race to the finish line.


Choppergold t1_irywkyk wrote

Come together, right now, over me


3l-d1abl0 t1_irzraih wrote

Like they say - “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”


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pmmbok t1_irzi7h4 wrote

I wish I had written that grant proposal. A hoot.


paulfromatlanta t1_iryg4v0 wrote

I could understand this better if there were hazards that had to be overcome, like with flocks of birds or schools of fish - but I'm having a hard time seeing the reason for cooperating to be advantageous


Red-eleven t1_iryi92l wrote

Maybe they’re drafting. Shake n bake I think it’s called.


paulfromatlanta t1_iryjb90 wrote

>> drafting

That would actually make sense. I wonder how much resistance there is to movement compared to air or water....


TheGeneGeena t1_iryjz0y wrote

Well, they're not sentient or even animals so technically "cooperating" feels like an overstatement - but there is a biological issue the cells overcome by grouping up, mucus and their own inability to swim straight.


princessaurus_rex t1_irypv10 wrote

Have you not seen any adaptation of conception? There are absolutely hazards to avoid while swimming through an inhospitable environment few stay alive long enough to even reach the egg. It's called a miracle because although it happens alot it's not easy. A million things can and do go wrong which is why sperm count matters. Saw an article on here a few days ago about how IVF is impacting sperm when the barriers are removed.

It's neat the sperm cooperate from a biological standpoint increases the odds of survival of the species. We are programed to work together to stay alive.


titleywinker t1_irzm90m wrote

Is there a metaphor here? I feel targeted. But also, I won the race


Burstar1 t1_irzy4kr wrote

I'm curious what other implications this has evolutionarily speaking.

Are there any mechanisms by which sperm containing a high proportion of similar DNA will 'cooperate' (ie: altruism theories)
Could this behaviour be responsible for fraternal twins?
If this behaviour does indeed impart even a small advantage over individual sperm why isn't it the norm?


Strazdas1 t1_is0a1th wrote

So, group sex normalization when?


ptgmxnuestgc t1_is0aas9 wrote

so my lonely (by choice) life makes more sense.


youll_dig-dug t1_is2fbv7 wrote

An important consideration, what about the viability of the offspring - do cooperative sperm lead to more successful long term outcomes