• Wed. Jan 20th, 2021

Strange reptiles can … change their own se‌ּx


Jan 8, 2021

SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium in Australia used to have a Hypsilurus boydii male and two female dragons. Immediately after the male’s death, the attendants noticed some unusual changes in the female.

After careful observation, the researchers concluded that it was changing its se‌ּx, which was unheard of in adult reptiles.

Hypsilurus boydii are small tree lizards that live in the tropical forests of northern Queensland. The se‌ּx-changed Hypsilurus boydii previously mated with a male and laid eggs, confirming it to be a female. However, it has now stopped producing eggs and has developed male body traits, including the testes.

Before that, both children had been in stiff competition for many years, although one was definitely dominant.

“The first thing that warned us about a change is that the two started getting close, sitting on the same branch instead of staring at each other at opposite ends,” said SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium representative. said.

Research has confirmed that a previously female Hypsilurus boydii dragon now has testicles as well as male features such as size and crest thickening.

It could be the result of a male’s death or moving to a new housing at the same time. However, subsequent breeders observed that the dominant Hypsilurus boydii began to grow again, having previously reached a typical female weight of about 100 grams.

Furthermore, the female crest thickens as well, an important difference can be observed between the male and the female in this species. The process is slow, but the dragon Hypsilurus boydii now reaches 160 grams, the typical male weight.

“We did an ultrasound examination to determine which reproductive organs were present. Surprisingly, we found that there were no more ovaries left, instead mature testicles were present. development, “the aquarium representative added.

Aquariums in Australia currently do not have the resources to investigate the genetics of dragons to see if they have a dragon with some unusual chromosome or is a wolf-like evolutionary response to the female recognizes herself without a male nearby. They are connecting with scientists on conducting specific tests, but need to consider the ethical implications as this is an animal not a research specimen.

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