Hermaphrodites are those that possess both female bodies and male bodies. That is, they are organisms that can be males or females. In other words, they are organisms that can produce female or male gametes (cells).
This does not mean that the hermaphroditic organisms have to change sex, but from the biological point of view they can do it.
This characteristic occurs in many invertebrate animals and in vegetables. However, we will leave aside all the hermaphroditic organisms that are not animals for another opportunity.
Strictly speaking, hermaphroditic animals, since they can produce both types of gametes, could, in theory, fertilize themselves. However, in general terms and saving exceptions, they need a partner for procreation.
- Example : A hermaphroditic animal that is born with one type of sex and can then change others is the Guppy fish. This is a tropical water fish that reproduces, fundamentally, in captivity. The same species can be born female and, in the absence of close males, can become a male (or vice versa) to procreate the species.
Types of hermaphroditism
There are two types of hermaphroditism:
- Sequential hermaphroditism . They are those species that are born with a type of sex and then, in their adulthood they modify it.
- Simultaneous hermaphroditism . Certain species can alternately become males or females depending on the sex that the species needs at a given time.
In animals or hermaphroditic species sex is not determined by the number of chromosomes (X or Y) that determine whether a species is male or female. On the contrary, sex will be determined by the maturity around the environment of each species.
Hermaphroditism in humans
Although it is not very frequent there are certain human beings who are potentially born with a penis and a vagina at the same time. This must be evaluated by a doctor who determines the sex of the child. In these cases their genitals are ambiguous.
Examples of hermaphroditic animals
|Gorgonaceos (They are marine)||Zamburiñas|
|Corals (which release fertilized gametes outdoors)|
- Poisonous frog
- Crepidula fornicata