|There are two types of reproduction. Sexual and Asexual. To
really understand what those words mean lets break them apart.
The second word is easier to break apart. A is greek for without. Sex means to cross. Asexual together mean the without to cross which really doesnt make sense but it is also defined as without crossing. Asexual organisms make exact copies of themselves. They almost make a photocopy of themselves. This photocopy is almost identical but mistakes can happen that allow different traits to occur in the copy. One of the big differences is the copy is usually a little smaller especially in larger organisms who reproduce this way. Some examples of animals who reproduce asexually are: bacteria, hydra, jellyfish, Ameoba, Paramecium, and some plants especially under certain circumstances (see Linden).
We already know that Asexual means without crossing or only one parent. Sexual means to cross. Sexual reproduction means that two parent combine parts of their genetic material. With sexual reproduction there is usually a male and a female. The male contributes a copy of half of his genetic material and the female contributes a copy of half of her genetic material. The baby that is born is called the offpsring. In a very basic way offspring have half of their traits from each parent. Because of the way the male and female copy their own genetic material and the way they are combined each offspring is different. It is a little like rolling dice for each offspring. Some animals that reproduce sexually are: mammals, insects, fish, birds, and most plants at least under common circumstances. (See Linden)
Many plants and animals are adapted to reproduce both ways. There are advantages to each method. Jellyfish are an example of an animal that can reproduce both ways. They reproduce sexually but the also reproduce asexually. The asexual way allows them to make many copies of themselves that have an easier time finding a mate than one copy would. The sexually reproducing copies can then find a mate and produce offspring with different traits. These different traits may give the offpsring an advantage that the parents didnt have.
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