Fact of the day!

Today’s science fact is about the Texan Horned Lizard.

This lizard deters predators by shooting its own blood into their face. Out of its eyes. Apparently the blood taste......Learn More!

Today's Video

Read Whole Article Click Here!

What If There Were More Than Two Sexes?

Omkar singh,Main Writer ScienceRelief


During the new DC Comics Universe series "Flashpoint," in which a time-traveling supervillain alters the past to warp the present, Life's Little Mysteries presents a 10-part series that examines what would happen if a major event in the history of the universe had gone just slightly different.
Part 4: What if ... there were more than two sexes?
In nearly all vertebrate species, sexual reproduction is binary – it involves male and female physical forms, each bearing a distinct sex cell ― a sperm or an egg, respectively.

Life would be: Easier. Or more complicated. It really depends on how you look at it.
The need for a third sex cell and therefore a third body type in order to produce offspring (and inspire a third restroom symbol) has never evolved on Earth. Such an arrangement would be inefficient and biologically costly. But nature does have multiple examples of more than two "mating types" within a species; clam shrimp have a male as well as two varieties of hermaphrodite, which either self-fertilize or mate with males but cannot mate with each other.
Not be outdone, the protozoan Tetrahymena thermophila has seven distinct "sexes" that can hook up and swap genes .
The stark male/female split in many organisms has long puzzled biologists. After all, having three mating types – wherein individuals can mate with the two types other than its own – boosts the odds of scoring a compatible partner from one in two to two in three, or from 50 percent to 67 percent; and the more varieties, the higher the odds. For stationary creatures, where finding a mate is difficult, multiple mating types have the advantage, said Laurence Hurst, a professor of evolutionary genetics at the University of Bath. For example, mushrooms have more than 30,000 mating types, Hurst told Life's Little Mysteries.
As for us mobile, social humans, finding a partner is not so tough (supposedly). Having three or more "genders," then, any two of which could make viable offspring (naturally), might be a reproductive blessing, but it could also be a relationship curse .


Follow Science Relief on Twitter @ScienceRelief . We're also on Facebook & Google+.

Leave Your Comments!
Share What’s Going on in your brain about the Topic. We need Your Response .  Feel free to leave comments!



Posted by Omkarr singh on Monday, January 07, 2013. Filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0

0 comments for What If There Were More Than Two Sexes?

Leave comment

Featured slider

Recent Entries

Recent Comments

Photo Gallery

Blogging tips