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Source article

Not Exactly Rocket Science

Published By

Dr. Dick van der Wateren


Reproduction, Hermafrodites, Clams

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Asexual clams have sex on the side (by Ed Yong)

25.05.2011, Age: 3774 days

In his blog "Not Exactly Rocket Science" Ed Yong explains how some freshwater clam species, who mainly reproduce by male cloning, manage to avoid extinction. Occasionally, they reproduce by having real sex, sperm fertilising another individual's egg and retaining its dna.

For many of us, a world comprised entirely of men would be a dystopian nightmare or a dream come true. But for the Corbicula clams, it's just life.

Several species of these freshwater clams are entirely male. Technically, they're hermaphrodites because each individual produces both sperm and eggs, but the eggs don't contribute to the next generation. When they are fertilised by sperm, their own DNA gets ejected and the resulting embryo only contains genes from the sperm. In this way, the clams produce clone "sons" that are genetically identical to them. ...

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Ed Yong. All-male clams escape from genetic canyons by stealing eggs. Not Exactly Rocket Science.

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