Sex With Creatures From Future Generations Is Deadly, Sea Monkey Study Shows
If people ever travel back in time, it seems you shouldn't procreate with them.
Apparently mating with a future generation could somehow shorten your lifespan according PopSci. At least that's what scientists at the Center for Functional and Evolutionary Ecology (CEFE) in Montpellier, France believe in the wake of a new study involving sea monkeys.
The researchers took eggs from different generations of tiny brine shrimp (Artemia franciscana, also known as sea monkeys) that were previously frozen, and reanimated them with water, writes Science 2.0. The eggs they revived were from 1985, 1996 and 2007 apparently representing 160 generations.
Sea monkeys are one of the few species that can survive in a dormant state for extended periods of time, giving them an odd time-traveling capability (of sorts).
The study found that females who mated with males from their own generation lived longer than those who mated with males of a different generation, according to Science 2.0. However, it seems that the shortened lifespans did not affect their reproductive success.
The reason for the problems is basic however, and true of many species, according to PopSci.
What makes time-shifting sex hazardous to health is something called antagonistic coevolution, a way that different species (parasites and hosts, for example) or members of the same species (males and females) adapt to each other to promote their own individual reproductive interests. In nature’s sex wars, males campaign for more offspring—the proverbial seed-spreading—while females play hard-to-get because they bear most of the burden of reproduction and parenthood.
But exactly what do shrimp have to do with us?
Sexual conflicts and antagonistic coevolution are “probably central to understanding male/female behavior,” [study co-author Thomas] Lenormand says. In fact, it turns out that antagonistic coevolution is hard at work in humans today. I’ve previously written about the possible antidepressant properties of seminal fluid. But there’s a dark side to semen, too.