zoology biology benno meyer rochow science blog calcium bones

Long Live the Females

In praise of the tougher (not “weaker”) sex

Even if there are some exceptions like hamsters, for instance, there can be no doubt that in most mammalian animal species the female is the longer lived of the two sexes. Why should female longevity be favoured by Nature and what is the basis for this phenomenon? —>

zoology biology benno meyer rochow science blog snails love

Cupid with a Slimy foot

The love life of snails

Terrestrial snails are generally slow moving and to many people rather uninteresting animals (unless, of course, you are French and an escargot fan). However, fact is that the slimy and sticky mucus that these snails are producing has not made them many friends and there are even folk, who find them disgusting. And yet, they possess a fascinating love life.


The Race of Life and death

Life is a continuous struggle – is there anyone who’d disagree? Life is a race, a race of the fittest to survive as Herbert Spencer observed 150 years ago after reading Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” opus. And it starts with the sperm. In most animal species the male gametes, also known as spermatozoa or spermatozoons, vastly outnumber the eggs and often the ratio is millions to one. It is therefore only an incredibly tiny percentage of sperm that are successful and meet, enter, and fuse with the egg cell nucleus to start a new individual. —>