If school taught me anything, it’s that one man and one woman are both required to make a baby. Just put them in a room together, put on some sultry music and BAM, the woman is with child. But could this be a thing of the past? Could men one day become obsolete? Will uterUS really become uterYOU? Well for some women in the insect kingdom, men are just no longer needed.
The cottony cushion scale is a type of insect that has been undergoing some evolutionary changes. Forget androgyny, the females of this species have started growing sperm in their bodies. Yes, sperm. How this evolutionary trait came to being is anyone’s guess but apparently, it’s spread through the population like wildfire and soon, men might not exist in this species.
The sperm inside the female cottony cushion scale works like any other. When the female decides she is ready for a family, the sperm fertilises her eggs, doing away with the need for sex and men. It’s a bit creepy to think about it, but the genes in the sperm are identical to her father’s. So in effect, the female’s offspring have the same father and grandfather. It’s sort of like when Fry became his own grandfather in Futurama except less…disturbing and idiotic.
But is this a good thing? Probably not. History tells us that asexual species tend to go extinct pretty quickly. Having two genders enables a lot of genetic diversity, which is typically a good thing. So the next time you hear someone say either ‘I don’t need no man’ or ‘pfft, women!’, you educate them!