Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Who likes protandric hermaphrodites?

From Deep Sea News:
Who likes protandric hermaphrodites?
Hermaphrodiitism is rare in mammals and birds and probably explains why they are really boring. In fish and invertebrates on the other hand, hermaphroditism occurs in high frequency. Clown fish, those cute little fish promoted by Disney…protandrous hermaphrodites. Does the conservative right know Disney is promoting hermaphroditism?

A recent study adds another species to the list. Work by Tyler et al. finds that Idas washingtonia, a deep-sea clam, is a protandric hermaphrodite. Idas is a small clam found inhabiting dead whale carcasses on the deep-sea floor. So what triggers the switch from male to female? 6mm.

At ~6mm males, males lose the man bits and gain some lady bits. Then begins formation of unfertilized eggs. Apparently, not many males make 6mm and become female. That’s reserved for a lucky 12%.
My answer? Not Many. Especially not Theologians and Bureaucrats.

1 comment:

SnoopyTheGoon said...

"Especially not Theologians and Bureaucrats."

On the other hand, it could be highly educational if at least 12% of them... I'm dying to see that happening.