Thursday, March 23, 2006

 

Ancient asexuals the boys are back in town

"The record-holders for the longest abstinence from sex may be about to lose their status, following a discovery on a Japanese island. Every specimen of darwinulid ostracod (a shrimp-like freshwater animal with a hinged shell) that has been examined over the past century has been a female, including fossil ones up to 208 million years old. That makes them the oldest multi-celled creatures to have survived without sex.

But now a team of scientists - Dr David Horne from Queen Mary, University of London, Dr Robin Smith from Lake Biwa Museum, and Dr Takahiro Kamiya from Kanazawa University, Japan - have been amazed to discover three specimens of a new species of darwinulid ostracod - which are males."

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