Yesterday, newly published research shed light on the wild sex life of Tetrahymena thermophila — a single-celled organism with potential to develop into seven different sexes. As science comic Maki Naro explains in his latest strip, the publication is particularly timely, in light of SCOTUS deliberations over marriage equality.
The protozoa in today’s comic are Tetrahymenathermophila, a single-celled microbe with a unique feature: They have seven genders. As reported by Natureyesterday, Tetrahymena can belong to seven different “mating types”—each able reproduce with any of the other six, but not with its own type. To take it further, the mating type of the offspring has nothing to do with the type of its parents. It’s completely random.
Nature, you’re funny.
Check out more of Naro's awesome work on his website!