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Images: World's Oldest Petrified Sperm

Sperm Spirals

reconstructed giant sperm from miocene

(Image credit: Renate Matzke-Karasz)

Reconstruction of 16 million-year-old giant sperm shows its coiled spiral structure.

Ostracod Anatomy

giant sperm in ostracods

(Image credit: Renate Matzke-Karasz)

A figure showing the anatomy of an ostracod and its giant sperm, alongside microscope images of modern giant sperm bundles.

Ostracod Reconstructed

anatomy of a female ostracod

(Image credit: Renate Matzke-Karasz)

Nanotomography reconstructions of the anatomy of a female ostracod. Yellow hose-like structures are spiral ducts that lead to the seminal receptacle.

Stephanie Pappas

Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science, covering topics ranging from geoscience to archaeology to the human brain and behavior. She was previously a senior writer for Live Science but is now a freelancer based in Denver, Colorado, and regularly contributes to Scientific American and The Monitor, the monthly magazine of the American Psychological Association. Stephanie received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.