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Moomin
07-18-2004, 08:50 AM
I cant remember exacttly how the conversation arose, but a friend and I got talking about the size of an individual whale sperm.

How big are they compared to human sperm? Hard as we tried, we couldn't picture them being as big as, say, salmon, but we figured that since the blue whale has a 10ft penis and nuts that weigh a tonne, there might be some difference. Or is it just volume?

Padeye
07-18-2004, 09:20 AM
Cells of the same type are all pretty much the same size regardless of the size of the animal, whales and such just have more than us.

Padeye
07-18-2004, 09:23 AM
You might also want to check your math in the original assumption. If cells were scaled and a 100 foot sperm whale had say, foot long sperm cells - the size of a small salmon - then a 6 foot human would have sperm almost 3/4 of an inch long if they were proportional to size.

Moomin
07-18-2004, 09:24 AM
Ahh. Just a difference in volume then.

Thanks

Moomin
07-18-2004, 09:26 AM
The salmon thing was just a joke - didn't take proportion into acocunt :)

Amberlei
07-18-2004, 10:12 AM
Sperm cell size does vary across species, but this variation occurs as a result of the distance sperm must travel to reach the female gamete, rather than by organism size. The head, which contains the genetic information, is always around 5 microns long in mammals, but the tail length increases when the sperm must travel a longer distance.

In humans, sperm cells consists of head 0.005 (5 microns) by 0.003 mm (3 microns) and tail 0.05 mm (5 micron) long. http://websters-online-dictionary.org/definition/english/Sp/Sperm.html
In comparison, the longest sperm amongst the mammals is produced by the Chinese hamster (around 30 microns in length.) http://dribbleglass.com/articles/animal-kingdom.htm

While the size of the sperm isn't vastly different than human sperm, the quantity of semen definitely is. A humpback whale produces 15 gallons of semen upon ejaculation. http://johnthaxton.com/gallery/whales.htm Humans, on the other hand, produce 1-2 teaspoons of semen per ejaculate, and only 14 gallons on average during their lifetime. http://humorweb.no/vitser.php?id=459

Also, just wanted to clarify that blue whale's testicles don't weigh a ton. The blue whale has the largest testicles in the world, but they're only 100 lb. each. http://1stpenisenlargementpill.com/penis-facts-numbers.html

Loopydude
07-18-2004, 10:42 AM
The blue whale has the largest testicles in the world, but they're only 100 lb. each.

"only". Heh!

Moomin
07-18-2004, 10:51 AM
I got the 1 tonne testicle bit from a david attenborough documentary - blue planet I think.

picker
07-18-2004, 12:01 PM
Also, just wanted to clarify that blue whale's testicles don't weigh a ton. The blue whale has the largest testicles in the world, but they're only 100 lb. each. http://1stpenisenlargementpill.com/penis-facts-numbers.html

Not that I doubt the veracity of your claim here, Amberlei, but I must admit that in my years of lurking i've never before seen a website for Penis Enlargement Pills used as a cite.

:D

Polycarp
07-18-2004, 12:54 PM
In comparison, the longest sperm amongst the mammals is produced by the Chinese hamster (around 30 microns in length.) http://dribbleglass.com/articles/animal-kingdom.htm

And now we have the smoking gun as to the ongoing question about the speed of this website -- clearly, all the resources that should go into spinning the wheel that drives the server are going into sperm production instead! :smack:

Although the image of the little furry guys reading a risqué Café Society thread and spanking their furry little monkeys is somewhat intriguing.... ;)

monstro
07-18-2004, 01:29 PM
Take about a bunch of active bullfrog tadpoles and put them in a bucket of milk.

Show it to a roomful of college students and tell them that they're whale sperm.

You will be amazed at how many students will believe you.

Colibri
07-18-2004, 02:02 PM
Also, just wanted to clarify that blue whale's testicles don't weigh a ton. The blue whale has the largest testicles in the world, but they're only 100 lb. each.

Actually Right Whales (Eubalaena) have the largest testicles of any animal, up to 14 times larger than those of blue whales. Some sites say each testicle weighs a ton, others that's the weight of the pair. In any case, the reason for this seems to be that many males will mate with the same female, and males attempt to "flush out" the sperm of their rivals by generating the maximum volume possible.

Amberlei
07-18-2004, 02:09 PM
I know some of my cites are iffy, but believe me, they're better than most you come up with if you go googling for whale testicals.

Some perhaps more reputable sources...

http://whale.wheelock.edu/archives/ask97/0135.html
"In an adult male, the penis is about 5 m long (16 ft) and the testicules weight about 10 kg (22 pounds)." However, from the same site, we have this...

http://whale.wheelock.edu/archives/ask03/0075.html "Blue whales have
comparatively small testes for their body size: the average adult male
has testes that weigh 70kg (~154 pounds). If you think that's a lot, compare that
figure to male right whales, which despite a smaller body size have
testes that weigh one ton!"

PetW
07-18-2004, 08:59 PM
Take about a bunch of active bullfrog tadpoles and put them in a bucket of milk.

Show it to a roomful of college students and tell them that they're whale sperm.

You will be amazed at how many students will believe you.

That is awesome, I will definitely be doing that sometime soon.

Qadgop the Mercotan
07-18-2004, 10:15 PM
I just happen to be reading Chris Moore's new book,Fluke (http://amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0380978415/002-2099771-3064808?v=glance).

There's a rather amusing scene in the book involving two female whale researchers coming between two male whales and their intended lady whale. Not for the squeamish. But you'll never think of whale sperm in quite the same way again!

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