Crayfish Clone Army

Marbled Crayfish, Photo © FRANK LYKO, DKFZ

on May 1, 2019

The term rapid speciation is no joke when it comes to the marbled crayfish. This relatively new species of crayfish likely appeared within a single generation and is now invading rivers and lakes throughout Europe, Madagascar, and Japan. As far as scientists can tell, an egg-carrying slough crayfish (the parent species) experienced a significant temperature flux while being shipped in the aquarium industry, creating this 4-inch (10 cm) self-cloning mutant that’s taking over the world, thanks to owners releasing them in the wild.

This flux altered at least one egg, leading to the marbled crayfish. All marbled crayfish are females, descended from the original, which reproduced asexually through cloning. A single marbled crayfish can multiply explosively, overwhelming indigenous crayfish.

Such rapid but minor changes in species—and the quick spreading around the globe by even tiny critters—is consistent with everything we read about life after Noah’s flood. God commanded creatures to refill the earth (Genesis 9:7), and we can see the results today. The earth is filled with marvelous creatures that can adapt and change, but it’s not the sort of change that converts crayfish into crocodiles. They’re still all crayfish.

This article was taken from Answers magazine, November–December, 2018, 30.

Marbled Crayfish, Photo © FRANK LYKO, DKFZ