Mutant Crawfish Can Clone Itself… Anyone Else Getting Hungry?
The world sees a self-replicating crawfish as a problem. We see them boiling in a pot with potatoes and corn.
"Mutant Crawfish Multiplying, Taking Over Europe"... Sounds like a crazy tabloid headline or even the latest superhero comic book theme. According to the New York Times, it's actually the truth.
This marbled crayfish was first discovered in Germany and became quite popular among aquarium hobbyists in the late 1990s. No one knew exactly where these little guys originated, but they were first described as "Texas crayfish." Probably because of their size, unseen in Germany.
Well it wasn't too long after that these little crayfish began laying eggs... tons of them... and without the need of a partner.
Scientist confirmed that the marbled crayfish were cloning themselves in 2003. People began dumping their extra crayfish in lakes and streams where they continued to multiply. Before long this species was popping up in Hungary, Croatia, Japan, Madagascar and other countries.
Now, after more research, it has been determined that it took just one male, one female and one hot night in the bayou for this new species to emerge. Of the two mates, one had a mutation in the sex cell which was carrying two copies of chromosomes. Biology teaches us that these cells are only supposed to have one copy. The female embryo that was produced shows no deformities, but can "induce her own eggs to start dividing into embryos." All of the babies, also females, inherit identical copies.
Who knew tiny swamp lobsters were so complex?