One of the primary goals of all living creatures is to survive. To do so,
cells must be able to reproduce. There are several advantages to reproduction
over simply sustaining the status quo. First, reproduction allow a specie of
cells to increase its population and subsequently have a higher competitive
advantage. Second, sexual reproduction can help to introduce genetic variation
into a specie which can be beneficial in the long run. One example of this
genetic variation might be the difference in looks between you and your parents.
Cells can reproduce in two ways, mitosis and meiosis. In mitosis, the
resulting daughter cell is an identical clone of the original cell. Mitosis is
mostly used by somatic cells (cells of the body). Meiosis, however, is a form of
sexual reproduction and only occurs in gametes (reproductive cells). The resulting daughter cells
have different genetic information than their parent cells. This method of
reproduction is especially important in the continuation of the specie when the environmental condition changes.
To learn more about the two forms of reproduction, choose from the two links