Few animals have babies without sex, so biologists assumed asexual reproduction must have evolutionary drawbacks. But a self-cloning Australian grasshopper shows things might be more complicated.
Researchers were surprised to find two female condors had managed to hatch chicks that had no fathers. But virgin birth does not seem to produce healthy birds that could strengthen the population.
The power grid in Texas provides a stark lesson in the balance between efficiency and resilience.
AP Photo/David J. Phillip
Disasters highlight the cost of society’s love of efficiency. Nature, in contrast, favors resilience. Being more like nature offers benefits for society, especially in the face of the climate crisis.
Getting the job done. A female Asian water dragon (Physignathus cocincinus) produced a daughter (left) without the assistance of a male.
Skip Brown/Smithsonian’s National Zoo
Parthenogenesis, a form of reproduction in which an egg develops into an embryo without being fertilized by sperm, might be more common than you realized.
Sexual reproduction helps keep coral colonies diverse and resilient. Now, scientists are doing it in a lab to restock flagging reefs.
Scientists don’t just want to unravel the mysteries of slug sex for voyeurism.
Euphanerops, a primitive jawless fish from the World Heritage site at Miguasha, Quebec, which has now been found to have paired hind limb structures and copulatory sex organs.
François Miville-Deschênes with permission
Sexual organs similar to what we see in sharks and rays today appeared many millions of years ago in much more primitive ancient fishes than was previously thought.
The echidna has a four-headed penis.
The competition to father young is often most intense behind the scenes.
What can mating yeast tell us about new drugs?
By exploiting the way yeast cells mate, researchers have figured out a quicker, easier way to identify on- and off-target drug interactions.
Sign of caution – or celebration?
What if the menopause was something we thought positively about or were able to discuss openly without fear of derision?
That’s when I had PMT remember?
Women often say their periods begin at the same time as their friends’.
The tiny rotifer has thrived for millions of years without sex.
Rotifers are tiny creatures found in ponds or puddles and can reproduce without sex. The theory says they should not have survived so how have they done it?
A set of twins in Vietnam have been found to have different fathers.
Understanding how evolution affects behaviour can help address societal problems.
Evolution also does not claim humans evolved from primates. Neither does it say non-human primates, including monkeys, baboons, chimpanzees and gorillas, will evolve into humans with time.
Compression of the long-leaf form of
The fossilized plant Montsechia relied on water to disseminate its genetic material and may rewrite the book on when and how the first flowering plants evolved.
Gird your loins.
Recent research into the health effects of the plastic-making chemicals phthalates has reignited concerns about low sperm counts. But the evidence is far from conclusive.
A bull male
Eastmanosteus placoderm. Placoderms were the first creatures to evolve paired reproductive organs with a bony skeleton called claspers.
Brian Choo & John Long, Flinders University.
We humans use the euphemism for sex that “we like to get a leg over” but the first jawed vertebrates – the placoderms – they liked to get a leg in. They were the first back-boned creatures to evolve male…
Trypanosomes in the blood.
There is no denying that humans think sex is important, but it also matters for microbes. Sex allows genes from two parents to be mixed, leading to new combinations of genes in the offspring. In the past…
Fast and efficient sperm increases a male’s chance of fathering a female’s offspring. But it also increases the chance of…
Fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) adopt a mating strategy based on sibling relationships and the sexual familiarity of…