Animals that change their gender

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Animals that change their gender
Animals that change their gender

Animals that change their sex - cuttlefish, garter snakes, spotted hyenas, clown fish, cleaner wrasse, sea slipper.



These animals have been known to people for a long time, because for a long time mankind wrote with their ink. And the artists used sepia - a brown paint, which was also obtained from the secretion of the ink gland of cuttlefish.

It is known that cuttlefish are able to change color almost instantly, disguising themselves as the environment. And the males of these animals also use this ability in the fight for the female. During courtship, the male paints one half of his body in the color of the nearby female, while the other remains in the “male” costume. In this case, the male half is shown by the male to the female, turning sideways to her, and the other - the “female” - is seen by the male who is nearby. So the cunning one significantly increases his chances of mating.

Garter snakes


This type of snake is relatives of our snakes, only they live in North America - from Canada to Mexico. The mating season of garter snakes begins immediately after hibernation: barely awakening from sleep, males feverishly search for females and form mating balls around them.

However, some males imitate the smell of females. Scientists have long puzzled over why they are doing this. This scent was believed to be preferred by females. But recently, biologists realized that insidious males in this way only protect themselves from danger. The fact is that after hibernation, snakes need time to recover and warm up. During such a period, they are sluggish and slow, and therefore they have a good chance of getting to dinner with predators. Therefore, numb males pretend to be females, thus receiving the protection and warmth of other males.

Spotted hyenas


Interestingly, the hyena looks more like representatives of the canine, wolf family, but in fact it is much closer to the feline. The ancient Greeks wrote legends about the deceit of hyenas, attributing to them the ability to hypnotize with a glance, dig up graves in search of food and change their gender. Of course, hyenas love carrion, but who would have thought that with sex, they are not quite "according to the standard".

In a flock of hyenas, females dominate, they are much larger and more aggressive than males. Their testosterone levels are so high that the female genitalia began to resemble the male genitalia: the fused labia are similar to the scrotum, and the clitoris is comparable in size to the penis. The similarity is so strong that it is not at all easy to distinguish between a male and a female. Hence the myth about the homosexuality of these animals. The meaning of such a structure of the genitals in females is still not clear to scientists, because all this significantly complicates childbirth in hyenas, which often lead to the death of both mothers and cubs.

Clown fish


Cartoon Nemo can become a female - that's a fact. Clown fish live in groups in which a harsh hierarchy reigns. The group is headed by a pair of male and female, it is she who is responsible for the continuation of the genus. The rest of the group are males, who have to restrain their growth, remaining smaller than the main male. This is necessary so that the “father of the family” does not become jealous of the female for other males.

If the leader of the group dies, one of the largest males in the group will take his place. But if a tragedy happens to a female, her former husband … will take her place, changing her sex, and one of the young and large males of the group will again become his partner.

Cleaner Wrasse


These fish live in small flocks and are busy all day by “cleaning” skin parasites from large marine predators - sharks, moray eels, mackerels or tuna. At the head of the pack is a male, surrounded by a retinue of several females.The male very strictly monitors the quality of "sanitation", now and then punishing lazy females. It is not surprising that every "normal" female cleaner wrasse dreams of becoming a male and already managing the ambulance team herself. This dream may well come true, especially in the largest female of the harem, which one fine day (the day of the death of the male) will turn into him and take the place of the leader.

Sea shoe


These sea dwellers lead a sedentary lifestyle, forming colonies - "pyramids" that can be seen on rocks and oyster shells. The top of the pyramid is crowned with the youngest individuals - they are always males. At the base there are "aged" females. The thing is that all sea shoes are born males and only then turn into females. So individuals in the middle of the pyramid are at different stages of sex reassignment.

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