Wild Things: Life as We Know It

Flight of the hummingbird, termite cloning and the rise of the octopus

(Kenji Matsuura)


Termite queens
(Maura McCarthy)
Termite queens from a species in Japan have an unusual way of reproducing: they clone themselves, according to new genetic research from Okayama University and elsewhere. The cloned queens accelerate the colony population growth by mating with its king. And because the clones were not sired by the king to begin with, the colony minimizes a problem common in royal families: inbreeding.

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