Reproduction is the biological process by which an individual (offspring) is produced from a parent or two parents. (Wikipedia) It is a fundamental feature of all known organisms because it ensures the continuity of life. Every individual exist as a result of reproduction.
Two Types of Reproduction
Sexual reproduction is the union of two haploid cells to form another individual of the same genus or species. These two haploid cells are called sperm (from the male) and ovum (from the female).
Fact: Haploid Cells are cells which contains only one set of chromosomes while diploid cells contains the complete set. Therefore, to be able to produce an offspring, the union of two different haploid cells is very much essential because two haploid cells of the same kind will never be able to unite and reproduce.
Fertilization is the process which starts with meiosis by which a human ovum and a sperm unites to share and combine their set of chromosomes in order to produce an offspring. Once they unite, the gender of the baby and some other physical characteristics are already decided.
Asexual reproduction is a mode of reproduction by which an organism produces a genetically the same offspring (clone). On this type of reproduction, only a single parent organism is required to be able to reproduce.
Modes of Asexual Reproduction
- Binary Fission- is a mode of asexual reproduction by which an individual reproduce by dividing itself into two – thus its name! An organism which exhibits this type of reproduction are sea anemones and some other microscopic organisms such as amoeba, euglena and paramecium.
- Budding- a parent organism creates a bud from it’s own cells which then form the basis of the offspring and develops to be a resemblance or clone of the parent.
- Fragmentation through regeneration- is a mode of asexual reproduction by which the parent organism break into fragments. The fragment(s) then will regenerate into another individual with the same genetic structure. Animals which exhibits this type of reproduction are sea stars and flatworms (platyhelminthes).
Fact: Some organisms undergo fragmentation through regeneration while ALL ORGANISMS undergo regeneration. For fragmentation through regeneration is a mode of biological cloning while regeneration per se is basically regrowing a part of the body. It is the reason why you cut your nails or when a house lizard accidentally lose its tail and regrows it.
One of my students asked me if a man and a carabao can reproduce. The question might be a little bit funny but there is a scientific explanation to that.
When we write a scientific name, we first write the genus name and then the species name- e.g. Trametes versicolor (Turkey Tail Fungus), Cucurbita pepo (Squash) , Lycopersicon escolentum (tomatoes) or in animals such as Panthera leo (lion) and Panthera tigris (tiger) or Equus quagga (zebra) and Equus Caballus (horse).
What is the connection of that with my answer? The explanation is, two different species can only reproduce if they have the same genus like lions and tigers(ligers Scientific name: Panthera leo X Panthera tigris) or horse and zebra (hebra). A carabao (Bubalus bubalis carabanesis) have a different genus name with a man (Homo sapiens) which will not allow them to have an offspring. So the answer would be a big NO!
Also, why would a man mate with a carabao?