[DWJ] Sex/gender (was Any number of threads and... somethingelse....)

Juliette Curtis jcurtis at harvestroad.com
Mon Apr 23 22:34:55 EDT 2007


The females of some lizard species can give virgin birth and such offspring
are always male. The mother might then mate with one of her offspring if
there are no other males available.

A large lizard (monitor? Komodo dragon?) in an Australian zoo recently gave
virgin birth. It was the first time this phenomenon had been observed in
this species.

Juliette
-----Original Message-----
From: dwj-bounces at suberic.net [mailto:dwj-bounces at suberic.net] On Behalf Of
Otter Perry
Sent: Monday, 23 April 2007 10:37 PM
To: Diana Wynne Jones discussion
Subject: Re: [DWJ] Sex/gender (was Any number of threads and...
somethingelse....)


On Apr 23, 2007, at 1:46 AM, Charles Butler wrote:

> Like it! Having more than one chromosonal sex has got to be a rarity, 
> hasn't
> it? But it's good they allowed for the possibility.

Isn't that what "mosaic" is?  My understanding is that mosaic is when
different bits of you have different chromosomal makeup.

And as for rarity, some of these chromosomal makeups are quite
rare.  [Incidentally, XO doesn't mean there's an O chromosome.
It's shorthand for "no partner chromosome" or "zero chromosome",
I guess.  You notice that there's no such thing as YO.  It's not
a viable combination.]  [Quite a few jokes occur to me, but I'm
sure they occur to you as well.]

But lots of people don't realize that there are more than two
choices.

The piece of information that totally floored me was that not
everything works the way we work.

In birds, e.g., the homozygotic sex is male, and the heterozygotic
sex is female.  [I hope I have the correct terms.]  For purposes of
understanding, it's as though the female is xy and male is xx.
But in birds I don't suppose they're called x and y.


-------------------

Every day brings a chance for you to draw in
a breath, kick off your shoes, and dance.

                                  -- Oprah Winfrey


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