13 April 2010

A new way to become all female


This is a word that a new paper in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B had added to my vocabulary. It refers to how an unfertilized egg in a normally sexual species can sometimes develop into a female and hatch. If that turns out to be possible, you have a small foothold that natural selection can work on, providing a way that a species can gradually become asexual.

Hybridization seems to be the most common pathway to parthenogenesis, though.

Picture of Tycho crater by Michael Karrer on Flickr, and used under a Creative Commons license.

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