New research tackles the question of how one species of aquatic microorganism has managed to survive without the benefit of sexual reproduction for millions of years. Writing this week in the journal Science, a team of researchers looks at the case of the bdelloid rotifers, which live in fresh water and moist soil. For millions of years, the rotifers have reproduced asexually, flying in the face of an idea known as the Red Queen Hypothesis, which states that without the advantage of sexual reproduction, more-rapidly evolving parasites and predators will eventually doom the asexual species. Now, the researchers studying the tiny organism say that its ability to dry up and blow away to greener pastures may have given the rotifers a hidden tactical edge in this evolutionary war. We'll find out more.
Produced by Flora Lichtman, Correspondent and Managing Editor, Video