Frog sex change
Most animals are one gender throughout their lives, but some species are capable of switching. Amphibians, which exhibit several interesting examples of this phenomenon, sometimes change their sex in response to environmental triggers -- which may be social, climactic or chemical in nature. In some circumstances this appears to be historically natural, while others do so as a result of herbicides or other forms of environmental pollution. While chromosomes determine the initial gender of mammals and birds, environmental or epigenetic factors determine the gender of many other animals, including some reptiles, invertebrates and amphibians. Incubation temperatures are often important in determining the initial sex of an animal; but later, social or climactic variables can cause reversals for some species.
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Can Amphibians Change Their Sex?
Frogs change sex even in natural settings - THE WILDLIFE SOCIETY
Hayes, professor of integrative biology. The 10 percent or more that turn from males into females — something not known to occur under natural conditions in amphibians — can successfully mate with male frogs but, because these females are genetically male, all their offspring are male. Though the experiments were performed on a common laboratory frog, the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis , field studies indicate that atrazine, a potent endocrine disruptor, similarly affects frogs in the wild, and could possibly be one of the causes of amphibian declines around the globe, Hayes said. Some 80 million pounds of the herbicide atrazine are applied annually in the United States on corn and sorghum to control weeds and increase crop yield, but such widespread use also makes atrazine the most common pesticide contaminant of ground and surface water, according to various studies. More and more research, however, is showing that atrazine interferes with endocrine hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone — in fish, amphibians, birds, reptiles, laboratory rodents and even human cell lines at levels of parts per billion.
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Pesticide Turns Male Frogs into Females
All rights reserved. Some green frogs Rana clamitans can reverse their sex even in forested ponds, free from high levels of pollution. What determines whether an animal becomes male or female? For frogs, sex is much more complicated than we thought. For some creatures, like reptiles and fish, sex can be heavily influenced by the environment.
Lets face it; most things in the natural world revolve around sex. Specifically, making sure you survive long enough to find and impress a mate—then have lots of offspring. For lots of animals, sex is largely defined before birth, and depends on the chromosomes you receive during fertilisation. Yet for other animals like fruit flies, fish and some reptiles, things work a little bit differently.
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