23 April 2008

No sex please we're fishes


The Amazon Molly is a species of fish found in Mexico and Texas. The location of this fish is not remarkable; the fact that it is all female and has survived for 70,000 years without reproducing sexually, is pretty remarkable though!


Typically, when creatures reproduce asexually, harmful changes creep into their genes over many generations. The species will eventually have problems reproducing and can often fall victim to extinction. According to evolutionary models the fish ought to have become extinct within the past 70,000 years. However, scientists from the University of Edinburgh think the Amazon Molly may be employing special genetic survival "tricks" to avoid becoming extinct.


The offspring are clones of their mother and it is possible that the fish may occasionally be taking some of the DNA from males of other species in order to refresh their gene pool. Dr Laurence Loewe, of the university's School of Biological Sciences, said: "What we have shown now is that this fish really has something special going on and that some special tricks exist to help this fish survive. Maybe there is still occasional sex with strangers that keeps the species alive. Future research may give us some answers."


I have resolved to ensure that the not-wife never hears of this. She may think that abstinence is a good thing and then I would have to call her Lysistrate

11 comments:

Nunyaa said...

Just lucky humans can't do that. So there are no males in this species? Hmm weird.

beakerkin said...

This type of reproduction is known in reptiles as well.

jmb said...

Where do you come up with these amazing things Jams? You must be monitoring some really interesting scientific news service.

This, along with the 8000 year old trees (well roots), just blows my mind.

jams o donnell said...

A world without me Nunyaa? I think it would be a lot more peaceful!

What was intereassting is how the species may offset the non beneficial mutations, Beakerkin

Ah jmb This story was from the BBC. I would recommend the science section of BBC news

Steve Bates said...

Asexual reproduction, with occasional one-minute stands with other species? You talk about a fish's cycle... (say it aloud).

CherryPie said...

Quite amazing, very interesting :-)

jams o donnell said...

Ach Steve that's terrible!

This sort of stuff is fascinating Cherie

Sean Jeating said...

Amazing Molly would be the proper name.

jams o donnell said...

That's true Sean!

ELASTICWAISTBANDLADY said...

All fish are created equal....well, at least when they're battered and sitting in my deep fat fryer.

jams o donnell said...

Haha EWBL although I can imagine fugu would still bite back!