The study was designed to test a popular evolutionary theory called the Red Queen hypothesis
, named after Lewis Carroll's character who in "Through the Looking Glass" described her country as a place where "it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.
A report in Science affirms this Red Queen hypothesis
, an evolutionary theory whose name comes from a character in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, who says: "It takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place.
In this study, black spot parasites of the Phoxinus eos-neogaeus gynogenetic cyprinid complex, in Voyageurs National Park, were used to re-test the Red Queen Hypothesis
, which suggest that sexual fish have an advantage over clonal fish regarding parasite loads.
The Red Queen hypothesis
, for instance, finds the main benefit of sex in shuffling the genome quickly, making it difficult for parasites to lock onto weaknesses.
He called it the Red Queen hypothesis
, after the character in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass who must run simply to stay in place.
The Red Queen Hypothesis
challenged this by pointing out that actually most natural selection will arise from co-evolutionary interactions with other species, not from interactions with the environment.
This idea, known as the Red Queen Hypothesis
, helps explain why most animals go to great lengths to find mates and have sex.