Feeds

Girl-only fish species survives by cloning

No men or bicycles required

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Researchers are pondering how an exclusively-female fish species has survived without genetically self-destructing itself into extinction, the BBC reports.

The Amazon Molly, found in Mexico and Texas, reproduces by cloning, and while it does "interact" with chaps from other species to "trigger its reproduction process", doesn't utilise any of their DNA in producing offspring.

While this might be considered proof of the old saw that "a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle", scientists from the University of Edinburgh applied "complex mathematical models" to demonstrate that the Amazon Molly should in fact have become extinct within the last 70,000 years as a result of the adverse genetic changes resulting from asexual reproduction.

Quite how it has survived remains a mystery, although one theory suggests occasional liaisons with males in which DNA is taken on board to "refresh" the species' genetic make-up.

Dr Laurence Loewe, of the uni'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."

The team's findings are published in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.