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I want you to take a minute and think about some of the animals on Earth. Some familiar ones probably come to mind: But what about some that might not be as familiar to you? Things like sponges, worms and even corals are also animals, just like you, me and Fido. Animals on Earth are a diverse and complex group.
They come in all different shapes, sizes, forms and colors. And they live just about everywhere you can imagine. But one thing they do have in common is that they don't live forever, and instead have to reproduce to ensure that their genes get passed on to the next generation. We're going to delve a little deeper into the two ways animals reproduce: And gain a better understanding of these two very different processes that have the same end goal: The most common way animals reproduce is through a process called sexual reproduction.
This involves the exchange of genetic information between two different individuals. This is exactly how you came to be you. The key with sexual reproduction is that offspring are produced through fertilizationwhich is the fusion of two gametes, or sex cells. Your father's sperm fertilized your mother's egg and voila! You were given a combination of cells from both of them that
Asexual reproduction related words to inference you as a unique individual.
You can see how unique you are by comparing yourself to you siblings. Same parents; very different kids. And this is why sexual reproduction is so cool in terms of evolution. Sexual reproduction increases genetic variability in offspring, which leads to a greater ability for a population to adapt to changing environments. Basically, the more diverse a group of animals is, the better able they are to deal with the crazy world we live in.
Let's look at "Asexual reproduction related words to inference" example to see just how important the enormous amount of genetic variation provided by sexual reproduction is to the survival of a species. Let's say that you are an elephant, and that you live among a group of other elephants.
and these other elephants all have very short trunks that can only reap the leaves of lower hanging branches on trees. Luckily for you, there's plenty of those around for you to munch on. But then, one day, someone comes by and cuts down all of those lower branches. Now you and your elephant buddies are stuck, staring up at the taller branches, wishing you could somehow climb up there to get your dinner.
This group of elephants is in bad shape, because everyone is the same. There's no variation in trunk length, so when the low branches are gone, so are your meals. But now, let's say that in your group of elephants there are individuals with all different lengths of trunks.
Some are short, some are long and some are in-between. With this group, even if someone comes by and chops off all the lower branches, some of the elephants in your group will still survive, because there are individuals who can still reach the higher branches.
This variation in a population's genetic makeup exactly what will allow that population to survive, even if not all of the individual members do.
In contrast to sexual reproduction, asexual reproduction is when genetically identical individuals are produced from a single parent. The term literally means 'without sex'.
The 'a' prefix means 'without'. There's no exchange of genetic information, no Asexual reproduction related words to inference individual created and no fertilization of one sex cell by the other. In fact, the offspring is an exact copy of the parent.
It may be, because this is also known as cloning, where the offspring has the same genetic makeup as the parent. Now, as we just saw, this clearly puts animals that reproduce this way at a disadvantage, at least in terms of their genetic diversity.
There's no way for variety to enter the population, because there's no genetic mixing. But there are some upsides to asexual reproduction that may have you thinking twice about feeling badly for these guys. Get FREE access for 5 days, just create an account.
Animals that don't move around, like those sponges we mentioned before, have no way of finding a mate to reproduce with. They may sometimes send sperm out into the water and hope that it makes its way to a nearby female, and, if so, then sexual reproduction can occur.
But what's for many sponges, and a lot less risky, is to split a new individual off from an existing outgrowth, a process called budding.
But, asexual reproduction can occur in all sorts of ways. Fission is another tactic some animals use to reproduce asexually. This is when a parent splits itself into two separate individuals. These individuals are generally about the same size and, again, can be created without any moving or searching for a partner. Watch carefully, and you may catch a sea anemone Asexual reproduction related words to inference this way. Fragmentation is similar to fission, except that the parent splits into multiple pieces, and then regeneratesor regrows the lost body parts.
Sea stars are pros at this, especially because they have five different arms to lose. Imagine losing all of your limbs, having them go off on their own as identical versions of you, and then you growing new limbs back on your own body.
So, as you can see, both methods of reproduction have benefits and limitations in evolutionary terms. But, no matter how we go about it, we're all to send our genes on to the next generation, and hope that the trend continues for many generations to come.
There is a great diversity among all the animals on Earth, from tiny insects to giant elephants, from sea stars to great white sharks, and all of these animals have one thing in common: There are two ways that animals reproduce. Sexual reproduction is when genetic information is exchanged between two distinct individuals. The sex cell from one Asexual reproduction related words to inference fertilizes the other, and in the process a little bit of genetic information from each parent is passed onto the offspring.
This exchange of genes is what leads to the incredible diversity we see within many animal species, and this genetic variation is what enables a species to adapt to environmental changes. Asexual reproduction is the exact opposite, because this is when genetically identical individuals are produced from a single parent.