Difference between Animal Reproduction and Plant Reproduction
Reproduction is the process which assures the perpetuation of species. Without it, both plants and animals would become extinct after their normal life cycle. While some species live for a hundred years or more like whales and giant tortoises, microscopic aquatic life forms can have a lifespan of only three days. Reproduction is the basis of plant and animal existence on Earth. It consists of producing new organisms through a variety of methods which go to show how plants and animals have adapted to their environment. This has helped them also to build up superior qualities. Reproduction ensures animal and plant diversity on earth.
Method of Reproduction
When speaking of animal reproduction methods there are two specific groups: one which lays eggs and one which gives birth to living organisms. The first group called oviparous includes all birds, amphibians such as frogs, most species of fish and reptiles and just a few primitive mammals which are proof of roots of the evolution process. The second group of viviparous animals includes almost all mammals, some species of reptiles, frogs and a few species of fish such as sharks. For the reproduction process to begin, two cells are needed called sperm cells which male produce and egg cells which female produce. Each contains half of the genetic material the offspring will have. The process through which these cells get combined is called mating. Plant reproduction can be sexual or asexual. In the first case two cells called gametes fuse to create an offspring which combines the genetic material from its parents. In the second case, a genetic material transfer will take place from parent to child.
People can influence animal reproduction through breeding. For example, if one wants to perpetuate the good features of an animal such as speed or productivity he will breed the best animals from the same species to give birth to individuals with those strengths combined. Plant reproduction can be influenced by people through specific horticultural techniques such as cutting, budding or grafting which can preserve the best characteristics of a plant for its offspring, but also increase its defensive system through addition of resistant cells from plants of the same species. Recently, chemical companies have changed the world of agriculture through the introduction of genetically modified (GMO) food crops. Some European countries have banned GMO foods but many countries including the U.S. have been taken over by crops that have been laced with the genes of other plants, pesticides or other chemicals. To avoid eating these products consumers are forced to purchase organic dairy products, fruits, vegetables and processed foods.
Since the first cloning of a sheep, organizations have conducted research and concluded that products coming from cloned animals are as safe to eat as those from non-cloned animals. Still, cloning as an animal reproduction is viewed as a possible danger to diversity and also renders the animals more vulnerable to new diseases. Cloning as plant reproduction is a well-known practice when trying to preserve the good qualities of a species.
- Animal reproduction can be done through laying eggs or giving birth to living organisms; plant reproduction can be done through gametes fusion or transfer of genetic material.
- People can breed animals to preserve good qualities of the parents or enhance them in animal offspring. Through certain techniques, there is a possibility to obtain more resistant plants.
- Genetically modified plants are thought to change the cellular structure of those who consume them. It is well-known that farmland used to grow these crops are spoiled from growing plants naturally.
- Animal cloning as reproduction system addresses the issue of diversity and may lead to increased vulnerability as the clone has the same genetic structure as the parent. Plant cloning results in species preservation.