Asexual reproduction involves only one parent individual, be in plant or animal. Asexual reproduction has many advantages. It is safe, certain (there are no problems of finding a receptive mate) and can give rise to large numbers of offspring very rapidly. The offspring produces are almost all genetically identical to the parent organism, and so a successful genetic combination can be passed on without change. This is an important advantage of asexual reproduction until living conditions change in some way. However, the introduction of a new disease to an environment, a change in temperature or human intervention can cause the total destruction of a group of genetically identical organisms, because if one cannot cope with the new environment, neither can all the others. One strategy for asexual reproduction is Fission (method of reproduction found in many invertebrate organisms). o
Sexual reproduction carries considerably more risk. It involves the combining of genetic information from to individuals. The meeting of the special sex cells (gametes), which carry this information is by no means certain and arranging for them to meet often carries an element of risk, for animals at least. But the great advantage of sexual reproduction is that it introduces variety, which is of great value when conditions are not stable. Variety increases the chance of survival because it provides the opportunity to evolve and take advantage of new conditions and surroundings. One way of sexual reproduction is fertilization, which may take place outside the body (external fertilization) or inside the body (internal fertilization).
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