What are the costs and benefits of sexual and asexual reproduction?
All animals can reproduce sexually, but at least some species in most animal phyla can reproduce asexually. Both of these mechanisms have costs and benefits. Sexually reproducing animals are more likely to produce genetically unique offspring. This diversity allows natural selection to occur and increases the fitness of the population over time. This process, however, is dependent on mate availability. Asexually reproducing animals can create offspring in the absence of other adults. Without the presence of another offspring, however, genetic recombination cannot occur. The offspring will either be genetically identical or similar to that of the parent.