Not many people have heard about the self-cloning marbled crayfish. And this is because it is a rather new species. However, everyone might soon come to know this interesting creature because it is slowly taking over the world. According to a study which the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution recently published, these creatures are all asexual and have only one female ancestor: the slough crayfish. You can usually find this species in both Florida and Georgia. But this entire bizarre story began back in 1995. Someone took this animal to an insect fair in the United States.
The interesting part is that scientists do not know how did the animal manage to become an entirely new species called the marbled crayfish. Then, it began to rapidly multiply. The owner soon realized that it would be impossible for him to take care of the offspring. This is why he took them to pet shops. They eventually arrived in Europe and now, they are taking over the world.
The bizarre, all-female marbled crayfish
According to Wolfgang Stein, the leader of this recent study, one single animal founded an entire species. Now, there are millions of them all over the world. It’s interesting that they don’t travel by themselves usually. However, one animal is enough for you to end up with 200 or 300 offspring three months later. They are usually clones of the mother which, in their turn, will reproduce again and again.
In order to reach these results, Stein and his team sequenced the genome of 12 such creatures. Unsurprisingly, they found that they all came from the original one. They also reportedly have three sets of chromosomes, when other animals usually have only two. But where is this all-female group of marbled crayfish now? Experts think they are in Madagascar, Japan, Europe and even in the United States.
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