Did you know that there is a fish that can change sexes back and forth depending on the needs of the group? Or is there also a type of sea snail that changes sex when the males touch each other?
Clownfish are transitional hermaphrodites – this means they can change sex at some point in their lives. But there’s something really special about clownfish. They do not change sex when they reach a certain point in their life. Instead, they change their own gender when there is a social change in the group.
Sex change in frogs is not considered a normal phenomenon. However, this phenomenon often occurs in green tree frogs. According to National Geographic, pollution is one of the factors observed to contribute to sex change in frogs – particularly the presence of herbicides and synthetic estrogens. However, these only cause male frogs to turn into female frogs, not vice versa.
As The Conversation explains, slugs are hermaphrodites – they have both male and female reproductive organs and can self-fertilize. However, they still prefer to find a mate, and the most likely reason for this is to ensure genetic diversity and avoid problems associated with inbreeding.
According to Forbes, the sex of mammals is determined by their sex chromosomes: XX for females and XY for males. In reptiles, the outside temperature often affects the sex of the embryo. But the Australian Bearded Dragon is a special kind of reptile. At room temperature, they grow according to the chromosomal system. But when it is very hot (above 32°C), some individuals with the original male chromosomes will automatically change to female. And if the temperature is above 36°C, all males of this species reverse sex into females.
Sex change is much rarer in birds than in reptiles or fish. But according to this article in the Wilson Journal of Ornithology, some northern cardinals show hermaphroditism – these birds are born with half-female, half-male feathers. In most cases, like the image below, the right will be the female (gray brown) and the left will be the male (magenta).
According to Reef Builders, blue ribbon eels are very rarely seen in front of humans, because they spend most of their lives living in holes in the bottom of groundwater. However, they are in fact a hermaphroditic species similar to clownfish, ribbon eels can change from male to female throughout their life.