Sexual reproduction in animals and plants is far more prevalent than asexual reproduction, and there is no dearth of hypotheses attempting to explain why. We confront this daily in the form of antimicrobial resistance. The host-parasite and host-pathogen arms race purports to explain the prevalence of sexual reproduction, yet there are over a dozen other hypotheses, including the proposition that sexual reproduction purges the genome of deleterious mutations. An equally daunting challenge is to understand, in terms of evolutionary logic, the jungle of diverse courtship and mating strategies that we find in nature.
The birds, the bees, chimpanzees, humans — we all do it, but few people realise that sexual reproduction actually first evolved in creatures vastly different to ourselves. View image of What is the real story of the birds and bees? Credit: Vivien Cumming. The dawn of sexual reproduction has always been a puzzle for scientists. All have their unique mechanisms, but why this process evolved is actually a subject of great mystery. Even for Darwin, the father of evolution, sex was confusing.
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Birds do it, and bees do it. Indeed, researchers estimate that over
Laurence D. The reason why, in terms of evolution, organisms have sex may seem rather obvious — they do it to reproduce. But this is missing the point. For many species there is an alternative: asexual reproduction. So why has sex evolved in so many species?