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Wild Things: Life as We Know It

Geckos, tiny dinosaurs, cave man couture, and more

Males No Longer Needed

Mycocepurus smithii
(Alex Wild)
An ant native to Central and South America has done away with males, researchers in Texas and Brazil confirm. Scientists suspected that Mycocepurus smithii reproduces asexually; new tests show that queens don't use sperm to fertilize their eggs. Without males to keep the gene pool diverse, though, the ants could accumulate enough mutations to go extinct.

Learn more about the ant Mycocepurus smithii at the Encyclopedia of Life.

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