Stripped of their reproductive role, the males, of this species, ceased to exist millions of years ago.
Seventy-five years ago, in the title of their classic send-up of how- to books, James Thurber and E.B. White famously asked, “Is Sex Necessary?”
At last, an answer is emerging: No, sex isn’t necessary at all.
So suggests a team of biologists after studying a major class of unisex animals that has managed to evolve into hundreds of different species without ever a male-female liaison. Stripped of their reproductive role, the males ceased to exist millions of years ago.
The animals, known as bdelloid rotifers, are among the most common microscopic creatures in the world, but they confound one of the classic assumptions of biology: namely…
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