A tiny relative of the water fleas that readily breed in suburban garden ponds is thought to be the world's sexiest animal.
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The ostracod is a pinhead-sized crustacean, a distant ancestor of water fleas and shrimps, that lived for sex, according to David Siveter, professor of palaeontology at Leicester University. They have the longest and most ostentatious display of sex of any animal group in the fossil record.
We can identify males and sex back to million years," Dr Siveter told the Science Festival. They have the second longest sperm in the animal kingdom.
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A one-millimetre ostracod can produce a single sperm that is 10mm long. It clearly has to have special equipment to deal with this sperm and it doesn't have one penis, it has two.
A male ostracod one millimetre long has a penis one third the size in volume of its entire organ and it has two of them. Sexest it gives a lot of attention to sex.
The oldest penis was found in a fossilised "fish nodule" of rock, which was collected in Brazil and is now held at the Natural History Museum in London, although it is not on public display.