04 April 2006

As If Dating Weren't Complicated Enough

Roy asked: Did you know that shrimp are born male and become female later in life?

Thank you for the question, Roy. Many animals have a unique characteristic wherein they begin life as one sex and change sexes at some point. If the change is from male to female it is known as protantrism; female to male is known as

Animals that exhibit this trait include the Twinspot wrass and anthia fish; and certain species of shrimp. Scientists think this ability helps animals reproduce when environmental (or other) factors lead to too many of one sex over another.

The illustration is by famed naturalist Charles Harper.

1 comment:

Roy said...

Well, I just finished reading all your post and attendant comments. Made a few new ones, comments that is, even though they will probably not be read by many.

Glad to see you have regular querists, so I will not feel so much like a stalker if I drop in a question or two from time to time.

The expanding universe question intrigued me. So:

On the number scale, an arrow head indicates infinity. Is there also infinity between 0 and 1. In other words if there is no largest number can there be a smallest number?