Excerpt from an article by Seattle Times science reporter, Sandi Doughton:
Baby sand dollars clone themselves when they sense danger
The odds of growing up aren't good for baby sand dollars.
Smaller than the head of a pin, the larvae drift in the ocean — easy prey for anything with a mouth.
But a University of Washington graduate student has discovered the tiny animal has a surprising survival strategy: Faced with the threat of being gobbled up, it makes like Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movies and clones itself.
The resulting "mini-me" may escape hungry fish because it is even teenier than the original — and harder to see.
"If you are eaten, but the smaller version of you survives, you're still a winner from an evolutionary standpoint," said Dawn Vaughn.