The faster the better for salmon sperm, a new study shows.
A University of Canterbury study has found male salmon can adjust their sperm's swimming speed when competing with a rival to reproduce.
The research shows how males of many species fight for the opportunity to reproduce, University of Canterbury PhD student Michael Bartlett says.
"The adjustment of sperm velocity altered male reproductive success and therefore fitness," he said.
"Our results provide novel insight into the evolution of male reproductive biology."
The discovery contributes to a better understanding of the reproductive biology of chinook salmon, a species that is valued both commercially and culturally and is of conservation concern, he said.
Mr Bartlett's research will be published in the eLife journal this month.