Exceptionally well-preserved giant spermatozoa in male and female specimens of an ostracod Cypria ophtalmica (Crustacea: Ostracoda) from Late Glacial lacustrine sediments of Southern Carpathians, Romania
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Exceptionally well-preserved giant spermatozoa observed between abundant decalcified carapace valves of ostracods (Crustacea: Ostracoda) were found in Late Glacial to Holocene (14,400 to 10,000 cal years bp) lacustrine sediments in the southern Romanian Carpathians. Analysis by scanning electron microscopy and laser scanning confocal microscopy revealed good preservation of the appendages enabling specific identification as Cypria ophtalmica (Candonidae) and indication of the presence of both female and male specimens based on the sexual dimorphism of the second antenna. This record represents the oldest and richest direct evidence of virtually morphologically unaltered animal spermatozoa preserved in females after mating.
KeywordsGiant spermatozoa in females Exceptional preservation Ostracoda Romanian Carpathians Late Glacial Holocene
S.I. was funded by POSDRU 89/1.5/S/60189 Romania and Institute of Speleology “Emil Racoviță” Cluj, Romania, A.V. by grant CGL2009–08943 from the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, Spain, E.M. by PROLONG project sponsored by OTKA PD 73234 & NF 101362, and T.N. was partly funded by the EU Marie Curie Research Training Network SexAsex (MRTN-CT-2004-512492) and a grant of the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education no. 71/6 PR UE/2005/7. SEM images of the soft parts were obtained during the visit of T.N. at the Zoological Museum of the University of Copenhagen supported from the SYNTHESYS Project (DK-TAF-1429) financed by the European Community Research Infrastructure Action under the FP7 "Capacities" Program. We are also grateful to Renate Matzke-Karasz (Munich) and two anonymous reviewers for their very useful comments and suggestions on the manuscript. This is a MTA-MTM-ELTE Paleo Contribution 170.
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