Sunday, October 28, 2007

Worm Sex

Worms that haven been contaminated by radioactivity from a nuclear accident are beginning to breed with other worms instead of on their own. Worms are usually asexual, however scientists believe that they are changing their behavior to increase their chances of survival. This is one of the first pieces of evidence that shows how wildlife is affected by radioaticity. This radio acticity came from when a reactor exploded at Chernobyl in Ukraine in 1986. Scientists have done research involving two species of sedimentary worms living near a lake. Both species switched to sexual reproduction from asexual reproduction. We have all learned about natural selection and scientists think that these worms are doing this to keep the best genes for survival alive to protect against radiation damage. It's so crazy to me that animals, even as small and insignificant as worms can alter their behavior so much to increase their survival rate. I think that even little things like this will end up helping all wildlife in the long run, because it is raising the publics' attention on important issues involving the world we live in.

Posted By: Katie Berthiaume


At 2:52 AM, Blogger PWH said...

This was very interesting for me to read about. Such creatures as little as worms have that much sense to reproduce their species. I never has a problem with worms before but i think that we have enough worms on this earth. We do not need even more worms with chemicals in them taking over. You never know what these worms are going to end up doing. But great story.
Valerie Hines

At 10:36 AM, Blogger PWH said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 10:36 AM, Blogger PWH said...

Wow. I love reading stories like this that are evidence for evolution and show that it is still going on now. Although worms are small, there are not insignificant. Some can be parasitic but they also play an important role as food for other organisms in many ecosystems. It would be interesting to take a closer look at what may have changed neurologically or hormonally to cause the switch in reproduction.

Courtney Huffman


Post a Comment

<< Home