17m-year-old sperm found

17m-year-old sperm found
The ancient sperm from a species of tiny shrimp look like those of the modern Australian ostracod (above).

SYDNEY - The world's oldest and best-preserved sperm, dating back 17 million years, have been unearthed in Australia, scientists said on Wednesday.

The sperm from an ancient species of tiny shrimp were discovered at the Riversleigh World Heritage Fossil Site.

Mike Archer, from the University of New South Wales, who has been excavating at Riversleigh for 35 years, said the sperm were an exciting find. "These are the oldest fossilised sperm ever found," he added.

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