Microbrachius dicki is the first-known animal to start having sex as a way of reproducing instead of spawning according to an international team of researchers. The ancient fish was believed to have lived in Scotland’s ancient lakes about 385 million years ago. It was bony and was about 8 cm long.
The very first act of copulation was done sideways, square-dance style.Prof Long
Prof John Long, the author of the study from Flinders University in Australia said that “this finding definitely define the very point in evolution where the origin of internal fertilization in all animals began.” Professor Long said the discovery was made after he studied a box of ancient fish fossils.
According to Professor Long, a male Microbrachius dicki has large bony claspers that he used to transfer sperm to a female Microbrachius dicki. A female Microbrachius dicki on the other hand had a small bony structure at their rear that locked the male organ into place.
Based on the information, Professor Long said, “They couldn’t have done it in a ‘missionary position’.” “The very first act of copulation was done sideways, square-dance style.” He further added that the two species were able to keep their position with the use of their little arms that looks like a fin. “The little arms are very useful to link the male and female together, so that the male can get his large L-shaped sexual organ into position to dock with the female’s genital plates, which are very rough like cheese graters.”
Furthermore, Professor Long described the act like a Velcro, where in the male lock its male organ into position in order to transfer its sperm.
Researchers though think that sexual act to reproduce among fishes did not last long for some reasons because they reverted back to spawning as a way of reproduction.
Dr Matt Friedman from the University of Oxford, UK said that the research was a remarkable one.
This archive content was originally published October 19, 2014 (www.betawired.com)