How do animals reproduce? The process of producing offspring having similarities (biologically or genetically) with the parent organism is known as reproduction.
It is a biological process that helps in the continuation of a particular type of animal species from one generation to another through animal reproduction.
The Reproduction process is known as the main feature of life on the planet. This process plays a vital role in the survival of millions of animal species. However, the animal reproduction system is not similar in all the species.
There are two types of reproduction in animals
Sexual reproduction and Asexual reproduction. Some animals reproduce through sexual reproduction, whereas some others reproduce through asexual reproduction process.
Both sexual and asexual reproduction methods have their advantages and disadvantages too. For example,- asexual reproduction is faster with no genetic variations, whereas in sexual reproduction, genetic modification is present, but it is a time-consuming process.
This article will help you to enhance your knowledge about the reproduction of animal and life forms on Earth.
Types of reproduction in animals
Every animal species is different from each other in terms of their characteristics, dietary habits, habitats, and even in terms of reproduction. Brief information about different types of reproduction in animals is given here for easy understanding.
It is a process in which only one parent organism produces a genetically identical offspring is known as asexual reproduction.
The organism created through asexual reproduction is less diverse, making it more susceptible to nutrition deficiency and various diseases.
Asexual reproduction animals majorly include unicellular (prokaryotic) microorganisms like bacteria, archaea, etc.
However, this process occurs in many eukaryotic single-celled & multi-celled organisms. Asexual reproduction in animals has been further classified into several types.
In this type of animal reproduction system, a cell splits into two cells (each cell carries an identical copy of DNA from its parent cell).
Binary fission occurs in prokaryotic microorganisms and some invertebrate, multi-celled organisms. For example- amoeba
The process through which a small bud-like outgrowth (bud) produces a new individual is known as budding. The bud remains to attach to the parent organism until it grows entirely into an adult.
Once it has grown up, it detached from the parent body to live an individual life. Budding reproduction usually occurs in some invertebrates like hydra and coral as well.
In hydra, the bud detached from the parent organism once it is fully grown, but in coral, the outgrowth does not separate. Instead, it multiplies to form new colonies.
In the fermentation process, the parent organism splits into many parts to regenerate several new individuals.
However, fermentation is a natural animal reproduction system, but sometimes it may occur through accidental damage or predator’s attacks.
For example- planaria, sponges, turbellarians, annelids, some cnidarians, echinoderms, some sea stars, etc.
Parthenogenesis is a kind of asexual reproduction where an egg (without being fertilized) develops into a new individual.
The offspring produced through parthenogenesis will be either haploid or diploid, depending on the species.
Parthenogenesis reproduction animal mostly includes invertebrates such as rotifers, stick insects, ants, bees, water fleas, aphids, wasps, etc.
In the case of bees, ants, and wasps, parthenogenesis is used to produce haploid males (drones) and diploid females (workers and queen) through fertilized eggs.
Parthenogenesis also occurs in some vertebrate animals like some reptiles, amphibians, and fishes.
The reproduction process in animals where the male and female gametes produce an offspring through the fusion of both the gametes is known as sexual reproduction.
This reproduction process is quite slow and complicated as compared to asexual reproduction. Many multicellular animals like fishes, mammals, birds, etc. reproduce through sexual reproduction process.
Even reproduction in domestic animals also occurs through the sexual process.
Domestic animals (pets or farm animals) are an essential part of our life. Domestic animals’ reproduction helps increase the number of species so that we can use more animal power to gain more profits.
Eventually, these animals help in various vital activities of life, like carrying loads, agricultural activities, transportation, carriage, etc.
Importance of animal reproduction
- Animal reproduction is one of the fundamental characteristics of different species. Only the animals within the same species can produce a fertile offspring.
- However, sometimes animals of different species also reproduce but within the same family. These offspring produced by the fusion of different species are termed as “hybrid animals.” For example- mule, beefalo, zebroid, cama, liger, etc.
- Parent animals are selected and mated to fulfil specific achievements from these animals. These new animals help in increasing the production level, such as high milk production, eggs, wool, meat, breeding, etc.
- Reproduction animal helps to maintain the stability in the ecosystem and for continuity of life on the planet. Just imagine for a while if reproduction had not been there, all the animal species would have been extinct from the Earth. Hence, the animal reproduction system help to maintain the flow of the life cycle in nature.
- Reproduction animal also helps in maintaining a proper balance between the birth rate and the death rate. It moves on in a cycle where the new individuals replace the old ones to continue their species for further generations.
- The animal reproduction system plays a vital role in the evolution of species. Through reproduction, the genes transmit from parents to their offspring’s, which leads to variation in the species. As a result, the ability of new individuals improves to survive in varied environmental conditions.
How do Animals reproduce in sexual and asexual reproduction?
- Asexual animal reproduction system occurs in lower vertebrates, lower chordates, prokaryotic microorganisms, and even in some eukaryotic single-celled & multi-celled organisms. On the other hand, sexual reproduction occurs in almost all types of multicellular organisms.
- Asexual reproduction is uni-parental, where only one parent gets involved, whereas sexual reproduction is bi-parental, where two parents get involved in producing an offspring.
- Asexual reproduction animal brings an identical new individual or the exact copy of its parent, whereas in sexual reproduction unique individual has similarities with its parents.
- In asexual reproduction in animals, the original parent disappears after the process, whereas in sexual reproduction, the original parents remain alive after the procedure.
- The fertilization process does not happen in asexual reproduction, whereas, in sexual reproduction, fertilization of gametes occurs and generates a zygote.
- Asexual reproduction, the reproductive organs are not present, whereas, in sexual reproduction, the fully-developed organs are present.
- The asexual reproduction process is very fast as compared to sexual reproduction. Sexual reproduction takes time.
Reproduction refers to the production of new individuals of the same species or sometimes of two different species. However, it is a natural process to maintain the balance of the natural cycles in the environment, but sometimes, this process is practised through artificial methods to increase productivity.
Animals’ reproduction system is an advantage for the ecosystem, whether it occurs through a natural or artificial means.