Sexual reproduction is a nearly universal trait in animals, although many species can reproduce asexually as well. Offspring produced asexually are genetically identical to one another and to their parents. Asexual reproduction is highly efficient because no mating is required. Furthermore, asexual populations can use resources efficiently because all individuals in the population can convert resources into offspring. However, asexual reproduction does not generate genetic diversity, and this can be a disadvantage in changing environments. As we learned in Chapter 9, genetic diversity enables natural selection to shape adaptations in response to environmental change.
A variety of animals, mostly invertebrates, reproduce asex-ually. They tend to be species that are sessile and cannot search for mates, or species that live in sparse populations and rarely encounter potential mates. Furthermore, asexu-ally reproducing species are likely to be found in relatively constant environments.
There are three common modes of asexual reproduction: budding, regeneration, and parthenogenesis.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.