Mother Nature gives us another lesson doing things that scientists have been trying to do for years, and that’s human cloning.
Even though it’s not possible for humans to use cloning as a form of reproduction, some animals that reproduce sexually have done it as a secondary way to prevent extinction if they can’t find an available mate in their new environment.
American and Irish researchers made the historical discovery after a female shovelhead kept in captivity at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha gave birth to a live female pup. In 2007, it became clear after extensive testing that the female pup had DNA that was identical to its mother’s DNA. There was no trace of male DNA. Sadly, the pup was killed shortly after its birth.
10. Sea Sponges
No wonder why the ocean is full of them, these amazing animals are composed of a mass of cellsand fibers without any true organs. The fact that such a simple animal has the capability to clone itself is rather remarkable. Sponges can duplicate themselves through a process called gemmulation.
Sponges can clone and heal
Even more amazing is the ability of the sponge to regenerate due to injury or predation. If part of the sponge is broken off, that part can survive on its own. It will grow into a completely new sponge that is genetically identical to the parent sponge.
Parasitic tapeworms also possess the power to replicate themselves as their main form of reproduction. When the adult reaches the reproductive stage of its life cycle, it detaches a rear segment of its body called a proglottid. Animals and humans can become infected by these flat worms.
The proglottid, which is ripe with eggs, passes out of the body and is eventually ingested by another grazing animal. The result is a multitude of cloned tapeworms that will infect other unsuspecting victims. Tapeworms are even more dangerous because most people don’t know when they’re infected, which allows the parasites to spawn a clone army of worms.
Aphids are masters of self-replication because they are capable of asexually reproducing all year long—up to 12 young a day.