CHAPTER – 8
How do Organisms Reproduce
Before we discuss the mechanisms by which organisms reproduce, let us ask a more basic question – why do organisms reproduce? After all, reproduction is not necessary to maintain the life of an individual organism, unlike the essential life processes such as nutrition, respiration, or excretion. On the other hand, if an individual organism is going to create more individuals, a lot of its energy will be spent in the process. So why should an individual organism waste energy on a process it does not need to stay alive? It would be interesting to discuss the possible answers in the classroom!
Whatever the answer to this question, it is obvious that we notice organisms because they reproduce. If there were to be only one, nonreproducing member of a particular kind, it is doubtful that we would have noticed its existence. It is the large numbers of organisms belonging to a single species that bring them to our notice. How do we know that two different individual organisms belong to the same species? Usually, we say this because they look similar to each other. Thus, reproducing organisms create new individuals that look very much like themselves.