Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Non-Primate Mammal Sperm Competition

  • Julián Santiago MorenoEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1950-1



Post-copulatory scenario in which the sperm of males of polygamous species competes within the female genital tract to fertilize the oocyte.


In many non-primate mammalian species, females may mate with more than one male. According to the sperm competition theory, the reproductive success of the males of such species depends on both the magnitude of inter-male rivalry and covert sperm competition. When the ejaculates of two or more males must compete to fertilize a set of ova, the quality of the sperm they carry becomes of great importance. The transfer of large numbers of spermatozoa in competitive situations is an effective strategy; males that transfer more sperm per ejaculate, or who copulate more often, are more likely to sire offspring. Usually, males of polygamous species have large testes and produce ejaculates with many sperm cells....


Sperm Competition Sperm Quality Sperm Length Wild Ruminant Ruminant Species 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Animal ReproductionINIAMadridSpain

Section editors and affiliations

  • Gary L Brase
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychological SciencesKansas State UniversityManhattanUSA