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Asexual reproduction involves a single parent, while sexual reproduction involves two parents. Now it is time to look closely at a variety of different organisms and determine which method of reproduction each uses.

Carefully read the information below. It provides information about how many organisms reproduce. When you finish, take the short quiz at the bottom. Good luck!

 
Linden
Like nearly all trees Lindens reproduce sexually. Unlike animals though the male and female parts on many trees are on the same tree. Lindens like many trees can reproduce asexually through a process called propagation. Propagation means that humans cut a part of the tree off and plant it so that it grows roots and begins a new tree. Certain trees like Navel oranges which have no seeds can only reproduce this way.
Toad
Like nearly all animals, toads reproduce sexually. Toads are amphibian, which means they require water for their reproductive processes. Toads have both males and females. The males and females join in the water, and the female lays her eggs in the water. The young tadpoles then grow up in the water until they develop into adults
Daffodil
Like nearly all plants, daffodils reproduce sexually .The flower contains both male and female parts and is part of the reproductive structure of the plant. The flower will produce seeds which can grow into a new plant. Daffodils grow from bulbs. The bulb can be split, and both parts will grow into daffodils, so under special circumstances it can also reproduce asexually.
Lizard
Like nearly all animals, lizards reproduce sexually. Lizards are reptiles and lay eggs. Lizards have both males and females. The males and females join together and the female lays her eggs in a small hollow in dirt or sand. Large reptiles like crocodiles and alligators actually build nests and even care for their young. Certain lizards actually reproduce asexually and only have females. This process is unique to a very small group of lizards and is the exception to nearly all animals reproducing sexually.
Sponge
Sponges are animals, and, like nearly all animals, reproduce sexually. It is hard to tell the difference between male and female, but they do have reproductive cells that join together and grow into a new sponge. Sponges can also reproduce asexually when any part is cut off. If the cut-off part lands or is put somewhere that is favorable, it will grow back as a living sponge.
Mushroom
Mushrooms have a stage in their lifestyle when they produce spores that are asexual and another stage when they produce male and female cells to reproduce sexually. The mushrooms that you see are actually asexual parts of the entire fungi, which are usually microscopic threads under ground.
Starfish
Starfish are another species that are both sexual and asexual when it comes to reproduction. Starfish produce sex cells which combine with the sex cells from other starfish and produce new genetically different offspring. If starfish are injured, however, they re-grow the damaged parts. If part of the center remains attached to a leg, the entire animal will re-grow. This wasn't known by early oyster fishermen. The fishermen knew that starfish pulled open and ate oysters, so when they found them or brought them up while fishing, they would take a knife or hatchet and cut them in half, then throw them back. Would you recommend this action for getting rid of starfish? What might be a better way?
Petunia
A petunia is different from a daffodil. It does not grow from a bulb and basically only reproduces sexually. It, like many other plants, can be propagated from seeds produced in the flower.
Beetle
Beetles are animals, as are all insects, and they reproduce sexually.
Bee
Bees are another insect and, although almost all the bees you see are females, they don't reproduce. There is a queen that mates with male bees. In most bees unfertilized eggs develop into males and fertilized eggs develop into females. The queen stores sperm inside her body and doesn't have to mate each time she lays eggs.
Seal
Seals, like all mammals, reproduce sexually. The come together once a year to give birth to their young and then find a new mate.
Paramecium
Paramecia are single celled protozoa. They reproduce when they get large enough. When the single cell has enough energy and other resources, it divides into two smaller cells. Each of these cells is genetically the same as the original.
Ferret
Ferrets reproduce sexually but the ferrets you see as pets usually have been surgically altered so they can't reproduce.
Flower
Most plants reproduce sexually. The flowers of a plant are their reproductive structures. Pollen (containing the male genetic material) is carried by insects, wind, or other ways to the female parts of the flower. This small flower, like nearly all plants, reproduces sexually. As stated before, flowers are actually part of the reproduction system in plants.

Jellyfish
Jellyfish go through a cycle similar to mushrooms, in that both of them have a sexually reproducing portion of their life cycle and both have an asexually reproducing part of their life cycle. The asexual part is called a polyp, and it doesn't move. The sexual part is called a medusa and is what you see at the right top of the picture.

Fish
Fish almost always reproduce sexually. There are a few species that, like the lizards mentioned earlier, can reproduce without males. A few unusual species of fish can even change gender if there are no males.
Seagull
Seagulls are birds which, like nearly all animals, reproduce sexually.
Prickly pear cactus
Prickly pear cactus is a plant that has not only adapted to the desert climate but is also able to reproduce both asexually and sexually. The prickly pear has a flower and reproduces with seeds, but it also reproduces asexually. The large pads of the prickly pear break off easily, so if an animal like an antelope, coyote, or even a cow walks too close, the spines of the cactus stick into them and the animal carries the pad along for some distance. When the pad falls off or is removed by the animal, the pad can grow into a new patch of prickly pear cactus. This is a natural form of propagation.
 

Click the button next to the best answer about each of the following organisms.

 
  1. Taking a cutting off of a house plant.
Asexual Reproduction
Sexual Reproduction
  1. Jackrabbits in Utah's west desert.

Asexual Reproduction
Sexual Reproduction
  1. Salmon (an ocean-going fish)

Asexual Reproduction
Sexual Reproduction
  1. Yeast (a fungus with some characteristics like a mushroom)
Asexual Reproduction
Sexual Reproduction
  1. Mosquitoes in a nearby pond.
Asexual Reproduction
Sexual Reproduction

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Updated October 24, 2008 by: Glen Westbroek

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