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I'm working on a low gravity planet, and I've thought that aeroplankton might be able to exist here, floating on wind currents using dandelion-like wings. I only have one problem:reproduction. The animals would need to find eachother mid-air to mate and lay eggs while not ending up on the ground, overall not a great strategy. My question is: Is there an easier way for these things to reproduce? If so, how?

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    $\begingroup$ Plants are not animals, so do you want plants or animals? Question needs an edit I think. $\endgroup$
    – Pelinore
    Commented Oct 2, 2022 at 17:09
  • $\begingroup$ @Pelinore has a good point. Plants propagate basically in two ways. (a) Pollen, which on Earth is moved around via bees and similar insects or the wind and (b) runners or root expansion, meaning that as the plant grows, roots develop into new centers of the plant. Either solution works for you. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Oct 2, 2022 at 19:52

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Many sea creature like corals, sea urchins, corals and so on reproduce without any problems in the broad open space of the ocean without recurring neither to pronube insects nor to physical intercourse. They simply disperse their reproductive cells in the water all together and then let chance play its part.

Your creatures can do the same: at a given moment, all of them release their reproductive cells in the air, the wind will take them over and mix thoroughly, ending in some gametes meeting and continuing the species.

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Your creatures are themselves reproductive cells

Usually when these things are floating around they reproduce asexually by simple fission.A haploid cell reproduces its DNA and becomes transiently diploid (and larger until probably less buoyant) then splits into two haploid offspring. I could imagine when times are good the dna duplication uses mitosis to keep Genes consistent and maybe scrambles things some with meiosis when times are tough and some novelty as regards genotype could help offspring.

But sometimes one such organism bumps into another in midair. If the mood is right they fuse, becoming a transient diploid organism that is the product of both partners. Sex! This then splits into two haploid organisms each a mix of the two parents.

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They can drop their genetic materials into the water Since plankton is plankton they can not really move and instead only get carried by the currents. In the air you get another chalange which is feeding. In water plankton simply absorbs bacteria passively but in air you cant really do that as the particles of air would carry to little organic matter. This is true especially for low gravity planets where particles of air are even more spread out, making the air thinner and pour in any material they could eat. This is why the plankton might opt to drop down every once in a while to snack and than reopen their dandelion structure to take it to the sky again. In this time when they feed they could also pour organic material in the water, creating the next generations in puddles and lakes or if you want to be more dramatic, when reproducing they drop their reproductive cells from the sky, creating a "plankton rain"

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