Definition of Hermaphrodite and Examples of Hermaphrodite Animals

Hermaphrodites: Definition and Examples – In general, two sexes are known in every living thing, including animals and plants, namely spermatozoa or those that produce male sex cells, and those that produce female sex cells or ova (egg cells).

In simple terms humans call it male and female. However, what actually happens in real life, the classification of the sexes of animals tends to be more complex and has many varieties. Some animals even have male and female genitalia that can function simultaneously.

If human sex is generally determined from birth or even in the womb naturally, in animals this depends according to environmental factors and genetic factors. will summarize the various sexes in animals that are important for you to understand

Sex in animals is determined based on the gametes. Gametes are reproductive cells that provide genetic information about sperm and eggs. The females have female gametes while the males have male gametes.

Definition of Hemaphrodite

Biologically hermaphrodites are individuals who have 2 organs/genitals, male and female, both of which are able to function fully. Hermaphrodites exist only in animals and plants. Hermaphrodites never occur in humans. It is important to understand that Hermaphrodites are not the same as intersex, intersex can happen to humans. The difference between intersex and hermaphrodites is that if they are hermaphrodites, all of the two organs can function while the intersex organs of the two organs cannot fully function.

Hermaphroditism is not very common in the animal kingdom ( animalia ) but is very common and common in the plant kingdom ( plantae ). Terrestrial gastropods such as slugs and banana slugs are common examples of hermaphroditism in the animal kingdom. Hermaphrodite plant species are all plants that have the possibility of self-pollination .

Hermaphrodite plants are generally plants that have perfect flowers or flowers that have male sex organs, namely stamens, and female sex organs, namely pistils or in other words, hermaphrodite plants are plants that have male and female flower organs found in one individual. Despite this, a number of plant species have developed certain systems or self-impairments to prevent self -fertilization .

Hermaphrodites consist of 2 types, namely:

  1. Protandry : Birth of male organs and then changed into female organs.
  2. Protogyny : The birth of female organs and then changed into male organs.

Examples of Hermaphrodite Animals

What animals in this world are hermaphrodites or have multiple sexes? Come on! peep the answer in the summary below!

1. Clownfish ( Amphiprioninae )

Did you know that all clown fish are born with one sex, namely male? Then, over time, the most dominant male fish will change to a female fish. This process is commonly known as sequential hermaphroditism.

If the female fish in the school dies, then the dominant male fish will change sex to replace the dead female. This is usually done to maintain the survival of the clown fish, explained the All That’s Interesting page.

2. Banana snail ( Ariolimax )

Banana snails are born with two sexes at once, male and female. This ability makes the banana slug classified as a hermaphrodite animal. Even so, they can still reproduce in pairs. When they find other snails of the same size, they will reproduce or impregnate each other.

If no other banana slugs are suitable, they will impregnate themselves. Even so, this is classified as rare and rare behavior. What is even more surprising is that banana slugs are known to often gnaw their partners’ penises after having sex. According to the All That’s Interesting page, experts call this action apophallation and so far it is only known to be carried out by banana slugs, you know .

3. Whip lizard ( Cnemidophorus )

The whip lizard can fertilize itself without the help of a male whip lizard. This is because all whip lizards are born female. The way of reproduction can be said to be quite unique, because the female lizards will stimulate each other’s ovulation. Then, the lizard that is at the top lays eggs with a small size while the lizard that is below lays eggs with a size that tends to be bigger.

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Scientifically speaking, the whip lizard would have combined two different versions of its DNA code with each other. Then, they will make sure that each pair of chromosomes has various forms of the gene. This happens so that the offspring of the whip lizards have genetic diversity and to help their offspring stay healthy and be able to survive well, explains The Higher Learning page.

4. Bearded Dragon Lizard ( Pogona Vitticeps )

Not magic, not witchcraft. The bearded dragon lizard has almost the same ability as the clownfish ( amphiprioninae ) to change its gender from male to female. They have had this special ability since they were still in the egg! Researchers say that this phenomenon can occur naturally and is predicted because it is influenced by changes in temperature, weather, and also climate.

According to Dr. Clare Holleley on the All That’s Interesting website , male dragon lizards are the object of research in the laboratory and are given in a room with an extreme increase in temperature, so they will genetically change to become females. In fact, male lizards that turn into females will tend to lay more eggs compared to lizards that are originally born with the female sex.

5. Wrasse fish ( Labridae )

In contrast to the clownfish ( amphiprioninae ), female wrasse fish can change their gender to become males. This happens when the dominant male fish in the school dies, the largest female fish changes its sex to male and leads the flock. This was conveyed by the All That’s Interesting page.

Changes in sexual organs from female to male will last approximately up to 14 days. Female wrasse fish that turn into males will change their angle to become more aggressive. This is done in order to secure the territory and also secure other female wrasse fish that will be fertilized to maintain the survival of their herd.

6. Cockatoos ( Scaridae )

Cockatoo fish is a fish species that is unique in its sex organs. According to the All That’s Interesting page, parrot fish are hermaphrodites of the protogin type, namely female animals that have the ability to change their sexual organs to become male at every point in their lives.

Although most parrotfish are born female, they have two sexes. Experts say that the two sexes in their body are used as a mechanism that is useful for maintaining gender balance in parrotfish schools.

7. Squid ( Loligo )

Squids can change one side of their body to look like a female squid, which is to reduce competition with other male squid. When a squid is in a crowd between male and female squid, the male squid will indicate that he is ‘female’ on the side that can be seen by other male squid.

Conversely, on the side that the female squid can see, she will show herself as a male squid. Meanwhile, the competing male squid will be fooled and will only see two female squids. According to the website All That’s Interesting. This trick is done in order to get the attention of the female squid faster than the other males.

8. Blackfin Goby ( Acanthogobius Flavimanus )

Who would have thought that these little fish could change their gender? Sex changes in blackfin goby are carried out according to their needs. For example, when there is a death of male giby fish. So, other gnoy fish that originally had a female sex will change their sexual organs to become male organs.

In fact, fish from the Gobiodon historio species have the ability to change their sex in two directions. If in one location there are two female fish that are born male, then one of them can change its sex to male. This change is very flexible and can be made at any time, explains the All That’s Interesting website .

9. Frog ( Anura )

What are the factors that can make frogs change sex? None other than the influence of the herbicide atrazine . Atrazine herbicide is a poison that can affect the hormone levels of amphibians. The All That’s Interesting page says that according to researchers, 10 percent of male frogs exposed to this type of poison will turn into female frogs.

As a result of this poison, male frogs will lose the hormone testosterone and sperm. This was stated by Tyrone B. Hayes, a researcher from the University of California Berkeley. In many cases, this atrazine poison has a high possibility of being able to kill frogs, especially in large doses.

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10. Garter’s Snake ( Thamnophis )

Garter snakes have unique abilities that many other types of snakes do not have. Some male garter snakes have the ability to change their body shape to that of a female garter snake. According to the All That’s Interesting page. This sexual trick is used so that the garter changer, which has changed, will be surrounded by other male snakes. This encirclement by many other snakes serves to protect them from their various natural predators, such as hawks.

11. Tapeworm ( Taenia )

The condition of tapeworms as internal parasites that reside in the bodies of other animals makes it very difficult for them to reproduce with other organisms. For this reason, tapeworms usually self-fertilize. However, if the opportunity arises and encounters with other organisms, they will choose to cross-fertilize with other tapeworms.

12. Starfish (Asteroidea)

One of the most popular hermaphrodites and loved by many people is the starfish. Starfish usually develop male reproductive organs when they are in their juvenile phase and turn into females when they are approaching their adult phase.

Sea stars can also have asexual reproductive organs, which occurs when one of their arms is broken but still carries part of the starfish’s core. In this case, a starfish that has lost its arm will regenerate by growing its own arm while the arm will regenerate throughout its body. From this regeneration activity, two very identical individual starfish will emerge.

Hermaphrodite Plants

An example of a hermaphrodite plant is a plant that can produce perfect flowers. Self-pollination is the process of pollination (transfer of pollen from the anther to the stigma) which specifically occurs in the same flower or between different flowers but within two plants or between flowers on clones of the same plant.

Pollination between plants originating from reproduction between plants in groups that have pure strains with the same genetic composition or a plant that is asexually the same will give the same results as pollination of flowers within one plant.

Plants that self-pollinate will usually carry out the pollination process when the flowers are still closed or have not yet bloomed, which is also known as closed pollination ( cleistogamy ).

Types of Self Pollination

There are two types of self-pollination in plants that have perfect flowers. The first is natural self-pollination and the second is self-pollination but with assistance. For more details, let’s read the explanation below!

Natural self-pollination

Plants can be known whether they naturally self-pollinate by observing morphology, especially on the genitals or flowers and cross-breeding experiments that are still one relative. The completeness of the genitals in a flower in a plant is one of the main bases of natural pollination. If the pistils and stamens are present and complete in a flower, there is a possibility that the plant will self-pollinate. Vice versa also applies, if the stamens and pistils are separated in different flowers or maybe different plants, it is certain that these plants will not pollinate themselves naturally.

In the perfect flower, further review is needed regarding the pollination time. If the plant pollinates before the flowers bloom, then the plant pollinates itself in a natural way. In the second way, namely crossbreeding experiments between plants that have the same relatives, observations can be seen in plants resulting from crossbreeding offspring. If the hereditary plants do not show any signs of decreasing quality either in terms of yield or appearance, then these plants are usually plants that have successfully self-pollinated.

Artificial self-pollination

In plants that naturally cross-pollinate, self-pollination can be carried out by engineering or man-made and is more commonly referred to as selfing or self-crossing. Artificial self-pollination is carried out by collecting pollen from the anthers of a plant, then placing it or applying it to the pistil of the same flower or the flower on the same plant before being pollinated. The goal of artificial self-pollination in cross-pollinated plants is to produce offspring that have the same genetic component as their parents. Offspring resulting from self-pollination, i.e. plants that carry out cross-pollination will usually experience a decrease both in terms of yield and in terms of appearance when compared to their parents.

Examples of plants that have perfect flowers and can self-pollinate are rice, ginger, papaya, corn, mango, and hibiscus.