Female Sea Monkeys Should Avoid Time-Traveling Male Sea Monkeys

sea monkey.jpg
Let's all grapple with this lead sentence together: "Evolutionary ecologists have discovered that having sex with a male sea monkey from the future can be hazardous to a female sea monkey's health."

Basically, the story is that the sea monkeys...can travel through time. Actually, they can stay in their eggs through a drought, waiting to hatch until the water comes back. So they can be born in a different generation from when they were conceived. (But doesn't that mean they would be from the past? Right?)

Anyway, the time-traveling sea monkeys are assholes and have crazy evolutionary tactics to subdue the females and force them to mate. The females don't take this lying down, as it were:

But the females fight back, evolving antidotes to the males' weaponry, which then force the males to evolve countermeasures, which in turn makes the females evolve more antidotes, culminating in an escalating arms race of sexual conflict, at least in theory.

Is this an allegory for male-female human relations, and if not, what is it and why is nature so horrifying?

[Wired]

[rgray@villagevoice.com] [@_rosiegray]

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