How an animal survived for 80 million years without sex has been solved by UK scientists
There could be some benefit to millions of years without sex after all
—Dr Alan Tunnacliffe, University of Cambridge
A Cambridge team says the creature owes its existence to a genetic quirk that offers some recompense for its prolonged celibacy.
Many asexual organisms have died out because they cannot adapt to changes in the natural world.
But an evolutionary trick allows this pond-dweller to survive when conditions change, researchers report in Science.
The animal is a tiny invertebrate known as a bdelloid rotifer. It lives in freshwater pools. If deprived of water, it survives in a desiccated state until water becomes available again.