Monday, February 5, 2018

Bad movie plot, or?

The headline from Science literally reads "An aquarium accident may have given this crayfish the DNA to take over the world"

Which is totally the plot of a low-budget horror movie, except...it's kind of true.

The guilty party: The marbled crayfish, which apparently mutated in an aquarium to reproduce asexually. (The original species was the slough crayfish). Oh, and to be bigger. And it's causing problems all over the place.

No other crayfish can reproduce asexually. That said, to blame humans might be out of place - this kind of weird thing could have happened anyway, and they can't even be sure the original was an aquarium escapee. Even if it does remind me of Species. Or, no, even better. Darwin's Radio.

Oh, and the asexual crayfish do it by having three strands of DNA. Which is only done by one species of plant.

There's so much plot fodder here. A new species in one generation? A single individual producing a ridiculously invasive population.

But also, what the heck do we do about marbled crayfish? (And don't suggest eat them, I get violently ill at the idea since an unfortunate food poisoning incident many years ago... :P)