Hermaphrodite

Hermaphrodite

The plant in the picture above is a classic example of a hermaphrodite. A hermaphrodite is an organism with the reproductive features of both males and females. This adaptation allows plants to not only reproduce with other plants, but also with themselves to ensure pollination and more seed development through the process of asexual reproduction. Hermaphroditism occurs differently in different species. Some hermaphrodites are sequential, simultaneous, or pseudo hermaphrodites. Sequential hermaphrodites are those that are born of one sex and can change to another. Simultaneous hermaphrodites are those, like plants, which have both male and female reproductive organs. Pseudo-hermaphrodites are those creatures that appear to be hermaphrodites but are actually not (young female hyenas for example, which have an enlarged clitoris mirroring the sexual organ of a male).

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