Bat­tle of the sexes

From the sneaky to the sur­pris­ingly vi­o­lent, meet the an­i­mals prov­ing that the world of sex is far from black and white

World of Animals - - Contents - Words Vic­to­ria Wil­liams

Meet the an­i­mals prov­ing the world of sex is far from black and white

Horned stags, bright male birds, cows with ud­ders; di­vid­ing an­i­mals into male and fe­male can seem easy. How­ever, as is of­ten the case with the nat­u­ral world, sex isn’t al­ways that sim­ple. There are the hermaphrodites – si­mul­ta­ne­ous hermaphrodites, with both male and fe­male sex or­gans, and se­quen­tial hermaphrodites, go­ing through a com­plete sex change – and there are those for whom sim­ply pre­tend­ing to be the other sex is enough. When it comes to gen­der, the an­i­mal world is noth­ing if not fluid.

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