Ruff sex, half-siders and those that do it for themselves

To: Birding-Aus Aus <>
Subject: Ruff sex, half-siders and those that do it for themselves
From: Carl Clifford <>
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2013 10:47:03 +1100
Glad to see the gender/sex thing is nicely sorted. Unfortunately, with birds, 
things are not as neat as it is in human and we are perhaps in need of one or 
two extra pigeon-holes. Where do we place the "half-siders" (gynandromorphs), 
where the bird is male on one side of the body and female the other? Often the 
gonads on both sides are functional. 

There are also many records of a bird changing from one sex to another, 
following injury or disease to the primary gonads. The changed birds frequently 
exhibit most of the traits of the "new" reproductive determination.

Then we have those birds who have decided to go it alone and have become 
parthenogenetic. Not many, I admit, but it does happen and has been 
successfully bred for in Domestic Turkeys and in Zebra Finches and observed in 
other birds.


Carl Clifford


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