There are lots of different kinds of living organism in our planet. So i was wondering if such an organism could possibly exist?

Can any organism possibly exist, that would have the capability to acquire some genetic information of the organism it consumes, and pass that along with its own genetic information, forming a new species every single time it reproduces.

  • $\begingroup$ You should look up the definition of a 'species' - just taking up additional genetic information doesn't make a new species (and wouldn't be viable over multiple generations). Species are usually defined based on their ability to reproduce with each other - and having an organism that cant reproduce with the direct F1 should be possible at least in theory (you can look into yeast mating types for possible mechanisms). $\endgroup$
    – Nicolai
    Nov 3, 2017 at 16:45

2 Answers 2


Concept of species

First have a look at How could humans have interbred with Neanderthals if we're a different species? to better understand the concept of species.

I will assume that you are using the "biological species definition" which is based on reproductive isolation.

Can any organism possibly have the capability to create a new species every time it reproduces?

The question is mainly non-sense. In short, if it is true that all offspring are a new species, it means that by definition the lineage is asexual and then the concept of species is typically considered to be of little interest. Let's consider both asexual and sexual lineages separately to maybe clarify what I mean.

Asexual lineages

For exclusively asexually reproducing lineages, either we decide the question makes no sense because the concept of species does not apply to them. Or we decide the concept of species applies and then every individual is necessarily a new species. So, yes, by definition there is no exclusively asexually reproducing lineages where a new species isn't created at every reproductive event.

Sexual lineages

For sexual lineages, the question would make no sense either as if it was the case that every individual was it's own species, then the lineage would be asexual!


Absolutely impossible. There are several basic reasons:

1. Genetic modification isn't that simple

Not going to go into the mechanics of it, but suffice it to say that you can't perform genetic modification simply by having the cells of one species close to the cells of another. It requires complex techniques, such as shooting the new code at the host genome along with metal particles, shock or heat treating the receptor cell, etc.

2. This "feature" would not make a species more viable

If the species were around, just say for the past 1,000 years (+++), imagine the quantity of information that would have been gathered. Besides being unable to reproduce with others of its kind due to genetic incompatibility, the extra information being added every generation would make the species so laden with "features" that they would very quickly start to use their utility.

Furthermore, the gained "features" would tend to make the predator more like its prey. This would not help it and its progeny to survive; rather it would hinder them from catching additional prey. If a fox, for instance, begins to shrink because it has been eating mice, the time will quickly come when it will no longer be able to catch the mice.

3. Somatic cells are not reproductive cells

I'm aware this isn't necessarily in your question, and quite possibly you did not mean to imply it, but as long as I'm here, it's worth the effort to point out that in a lot of predatory organisms, reproduction takes place via meiosis, fertilization, etc. That is to say, even if the new DNA were to be absorbed by the cells and by some unbelievable chance, the code were to be copied into the genome of the host's cells, that trait would not be passed on to offspring unless the code were also implanted in the carrier's reproductive cells.

Even if that happened, you would once again have the issue that the additional codon sequences would very likely make it impossible for the reproductive cell to bind with another "equivalent" gamete.

Sorry, but no. Just - no.



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