There is no way any paleontologist would describe anything they find as “first ever.” “Earliest known,” sure, but the “first ever” or anything is exceedingly unlikely to be preserved, and even if it were we’d have no way of knowing.
At the bottom of a dark Scottish lake?
Speaking of science journalism, when is Maggie coming back?
This doesn’t refer to the “first ever” sex but the “first ever” internal fertilization; external fertilization is still sexual reproduction! The BBC article is implying that sex requires penetration, which any feminist or biologist will tell you that it doesn’t.
Of course, these critters barely “penetrate”, despite being named after dicks.
Given that sex is a phenomenon with an evolutionary-historical component, I suggest a chronological restructuring of all sex education curricula, such that all future human generations’ copulations are haunted by this image.
Huffing Boing Boing
I came in here just to see if anyone had made this comment.
Too bad this is basically wrong. What is wrong is that sexual reproduction is more general than internal fertilization by copulation of semi-aquatic vertebrates, which is what the article is really describing. Sexual reproduction evolved in cyanobacteria long before. It is a way to mix a gene pool so that a population has greater genetic diversity. Terrestrial animals use internal fertilization as a way to make use of conditions that were used to reproduce in water, eggs and spawn, like most modern marine and aquatic animals do today. This is still sexual reproduction. So what was invented here is the internal fertilization, but a form of sexual reproduction.
Even the BBC article acknowledges that this evolutionary development was subsequently canned, only to reappear later in other species. So their story should at least have been “Scottish fish invented sex, but didn’t really take to it”
Nah, just Scottish engineering being ahead of its time.
It does in Scotland. That’s why they wear the kilts. Only the kilts.
So many glorious, drunken, SCAdian revels recalled by one perfect YouTube response!
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