Marble crayfish

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The internet is ready for an all-female species of crayfish to take over the world

Mutant female crayfish inherit the earth?


Tiffany Kelly

Internet Culture

Posted on Feb 6, 2018   Updated on May 22, 2021, 1:52 am CDT

Usually, news of a mutant species that can clone itself would freak everyone out. But the internet responded with optimism and excitement to a study released Monday in Nature that said the marbled crayfish, which didn’t exist until 25 years ago, was popping up in large numbers around the world. The marbled crayfish is a unique species; because of a mutation, it can clone itself. The clones it reproduces are all female.

Carl Zimmer’s New York Times report on the study was widely shared in a popular tweet about the all-female crayfish:

The report inspired tweets welcoming our future female crayfish “overlords.”

And cheers for mutant females.

A couple of people made jokes that referenced Beyoncé songs.

The mutant crayfish really gave people hope for the future.

And human women wondered how we could clone females like the marbled crayfish.

You’re probably still wondering how these mutant crayfish have thrived. According to the Times, “about 1 in 10,000 species comprise cloning females. Many studies suggest that sex-free species are rare because they don’t last long.”

So far, the marbled crayfish have lasted only a couple of decades. Scientists are monitoring how long this species will survive. Maybe the crayfish will survive long enough to briefly take over the world—or at least inspire a sci-fi film about it.

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*First Published: Feb 6, 2018, 2:28 pm CST