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What is the difference between sexual and asexual reproduction?

At the most basic level, sexual reproduction involves the fusion of gametes (sperm and egg in animals) to form a zygote (fertilized egg). Asexual reproduction involves multiplication by simple division (for example, budding). The result of sexual reproduction is a unique offspring different from either parent. The result of asexual reproduction is offspring identical to the parent (and to each other). Some organisms reproduce exclusively by sexual reproduction. Some reproduce almost exclusively by asexual means. However, some degree of sexual reproduction is desirable because it helps to generate genetic diversity in the species.


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