Sheffield experts unlock secrets of pig sex lives

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University of Sheffield researchers have helped discover a secret of pig reproduction - female pigs’ bodies cans recognise whether a sperm will produce a male or female piglet before it reaches and fertilises the egg.

Scientists think it may be a way females unconsciously influence the sex of their offspring.

And, although researchers are still not sure why the ability has evolved, they speculate that if females can recognise the sex of sperm and change in response, they might be able to create an environment that favours boys or girls.

Lead author Professor Alireza Fazeli from the university’s Department of Human Metabolism which worked with the University of Murcia, said: “It’s of great scientific and evolutionary importance.”