Monday, April 5, 2010
What's the deal with sex?
Many organisms reproduce by means of sex. They find a companion, or the opposite sex, and mate. However, there are also female organisms that can reproduce "parthenogenetically" (155). This means that the female just produces eggs that can fully develop without being fertilized. Parthenogenetic reproduction is much less energy intensive because there is no need to find a mate and would also cause to a decreased need of ornate (and possibly detrimental) physical characteristics in sexual dimorphism. And females would be able to produce twice as many parthenogenetic offspring because all would be female and able to reproduce alone. But we know that sex is the most common means of reproduction. Why is this? If parthenogenetic reproduction costs less energy, why don't parthenogenetic organisms outcompete sexually reproducing organisms? A rise in parthenogenetic reproduction would make males obsolete. What would happen if this happens?