Categories
artificial wombs incels sex

Attention all Incels! A microscopic beetle mite proves animals can survive thousands of years without having sex

Oppiella nova: Fat-bottomed girl

I saw the headline while browsing Twitter this afternoon: “This animal has survived for centuries without having sex.”

I thought, that’ll show those incels who are absolutely furious to be virgins at 14 or 44.

Or maybe not. The animal in question is the type of animal normally known as “eww, bugs.” As Euronews.com explained:

A tiny beetle mite species, just one-fifth of a millimetre in size, has helped scientists prove that animals can survive for a very long time without having sex.

But there’s a bit of a complication. In news that will certainly cause much consternation in the incel world, these forever-celibate creatures are all girls — proving that female bugs can survive indefinitely without riding the bug carousel with an assortment of insect Chads. Told you so, incels!

So how do these tiny bugs, classified as Oppiella nova, manage to reproduce without any males around? Scientists were baffled.

The long term survival of animal species without sexual reproduction was thought to be practically impossible – until now.

What scientists at the Universities of Cologne and Göttingen discovered is that the Oppiella nova beetle mite has survived for thousands – maybe even millions – of years without having sex.

This animal can clone itself instead of reproducing.

Say what? Isn’t that, like, against the laws of evolution?

Normally, there is a big evolutionary advantage to having two parents. In animals with two sets of chromosomes, including humans, sex makes sure that our genetics get ‘mixed’ providing diversity. …

But this ‘mixing’ doesn’t happen in organisms that reproduce asexually.

Ok, so how do they manage to finesse this?

Despite producing what are essentially clones of themselves, they are still able to introduce genetic variation and adapt to their environments in a different way.

The two copies of their genetic information accumulate separate mutations, evolving completely independently. This is something called the Meselon effect and is only found in species that only reproduce asexually.

While the assorted misogynists I write about for this blog dream about aritificial wombs they think will make women obsolete, these Oppiella nova sisters are doing it for themselves.

Follow me on Twitter.

Send tips to dfutrelle at gmail dot com.

We Hunted the Mammoth relies entirely on readers like you for its survival. If you appreciate our work, please send a few bucks our way! Thanks!

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

12 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
28 days ago

OTish, in that it’s about an animal, though sadly about an animal death.

There’s something disturbingly myffic about this.
Police in Merseyside shot and killed a white stag.

https://twitter.com/bresh671/status/1442538917685719043

There are times I look upon humanity and despair. Though I do appreciate all the comments about how the Fair Folk will not take kindly to this action.

Michael Suttkus
Michael Suttkus
28 days ago

A tiny beetle mite species, just one-fifth of a millimetre in size, has helped scientists prove that animals can survive for a very long time without having sex.

Oh, good, so it wasn’t the rotifers or the whiptail lizards or the thrips or the walking sticks, THESE have finally proved that all those other animals are still surviving despite being completely asexual?

Popular science journals are always desperate to exaggerate every article so it sounds earthshaking. This isn’t a revelation, just another example of a well-known phenomenon. And the public gets the impression that science is constantly being overturned… *sigh*

Alan Robertshaw
28 days ago

@ Vicky P

I shall refrain from breaching the comments policy.

I would just point out that ‘killing a white stag brings misfortune’ seems to be a universal theme in lots of cultures.

In Austrian folklore, if you kill a white stag you (or a family member) will die within the year.

Archduke Ferdinand shot a white stag in 1913.

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
28 days ago

@Alan

It’s the pointlessness of it all that gets me, on top of the myffic implications. What a stupid waste of a beautiful animal.

Alan Robertshaw
28 days ago

@ Vicky P

Yeah. I mean if it was a rampaging bull or something I’d still be upset about it; but at least they could reasonably argue the danger to public point. But here they ignored the expert advice just to leave it alone and it would soon find its way home. There are deer that live in the woods behind me. During lockdown they did start to venture out and about as the roads were so quiet. It was a privilege to see them up close on my walks. But they scarpered back home if they heard a car coming.

“The deer is not crossing the road; the road is crossing the forest.”

Last edited 28 days ago by Alan Robertshaw
Ohlmann
Ohlmann
28 days ago

I also have heard of lizards who do that on a island. Also bananas and vines, who both provide examples of how fast a non-sexual-reproduction strain can be wiped out.

There’s a non nil chance that theses insects were lucky tho. Asexual reproduction is much better than sexual one in term of efficiency, up until the moment where a pandemic or similar is wiping out the lineage ; it’s possible their generic drifting while cloning is good enough to avoid that, but it’s also possible it just wasn’t tested hard enough.

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
27 days ago

@Vicky P: That was my second thought. My first was “awww, why? (sadface)”

Even bears and pumas often get darted and relocated, and those critters can kill you pretty easily. Bear or lion rampaging through town, sure, but famously shy/avoidant herbivores?

But anyway, you go teeny mite girls.

Alan Robertshaw
27 days ago

There’s an irony in that when humans end up in the wrong place the animals don’t shoot us.

comment image

Lumipuna
Lumipuna
27 days ago

“The deer is not crossing the road; the road is crossing the forest.”

Since at least some deer species tend to have culturally established, somewhat specific travel routes that may have existed before humans built their own road, one could perhaps say it’s cars crossing the road.

Alan Robertshaw
27 days ago

@ moggie

Yeah I saw that. I don’t think the fact they know each other detracts from the image though. And I’m not convinced by the speculation she was only hoping for a reward.

After all, we don’t think negatively of human altruism just because it’s between friends.

And to follow on from the cops shooting the deer thing, a cow managed to escape from a slaughter house last Friday; but they shot her too.

https://nj1015.com/cow-escapes-trenton-nj-slaughterhouse-only-to-be-killed-by-cops/

Last edited 27 days ago by Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
27 days ago

In happier news, someone sent me this.

Another escaped bovine. This time though he was rescued; and now gets to live on a sanctuary for abused animals. It’s in New Jersey, but even so…

https://www.fox5ny.com/news/runaway-bull-captured-on-long-island