Thursday, October 17, 2013

Lamprey’s Sexy Secret? … Bile Salt

by Douglas Main
Nothing says “I’m single and ready to mingle” like a dose of salty digestive fluid. For sea lampreys, anyway.
Male sea lampreys use a type of bile salt, which is more typically known for digesting fats, to advertise their genetic fitness to females and readiness to mate, new research shows. This stands in contrast to silver lampreys, which use the enzyme for digestion and other nonsexual functions, said Weiming Li, a researcher at Michigan State University.
The research could be used to help find a way to thwart the mating habits — and thus reduce the population — of sea lampreys, an invasive species that has taken a major toll on a variety of fish species in the Great Lakes…
(read more: Live Science)

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