Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Animals Literally Half Male And Half Female

A gynandromorph is an organism that contains both male and female characteristics.  These characteristics can be seen in butterflies, where both male and female characteristics can be seen physically because of sexual dimorphism. Cases of gynandromorphism have also been reported in crustaceans, especially lobsters, sometimes crabs and even in birds.

Scientists solve half-cock chicken mystery

Bilateral gynandromorphism chicken-sex-cells-hybridThe left, white, side of this bird is male. The right, brown, side is female.link


Researchers say they've solved the mystery of why some chickens hatch out half-male and half-female.
About one in every 10,000 chickens is gynandromorphous, to use the technical term. In medieval times, they might have been burned at the stake, as witches' familiars.

gynandromorph chicken half men and half womenlink

A gynandromorph chicken looks lopsided due to the differing structure of muscle mass in hens and roosters. As well, the average gynandromorph chicken will typically have a spur on the male half’s foot but not on the female half’s foot. Do gynandromorph chickens crow with the sunrise? Maybe just a little… we can forgive them for going off half cocked.


Gynandromorph Lobster

Gynandromorph LobsterNationalGeographic - link

Batman fans will remember Two-Face, the villain with a mug that's half handsome and half gruesome. Recently a Maine lobsterman caught a different kind of two-faced prey—a lobster that looks half raw and half cooked. First noted in 1730, gynandromorph lobsters are extremely rare – they do attract notice, however, because the condition is often (but not always) characterized and/or accompanied by the male and female halves sporting different colors.

Gynandromorph Lobster 02link

Gynandromorph Lobster 01link

Female lobsters produce eggs whether they’ve mated or not; a gynandromorph lobster was once captured in the wild carrying half the usual complement of eggs. The lobsterman who found the creature donated it to the Maine Department of Marine Resources who monitored the eggs. Though only two eggs were observed to hatch, one of the larvae was male and the other was female.

Gynandromorph Butterfly

Gynandromorph Butterflylink

Butterflies are among the most frequently noticed gynandromorphs, owing to the creatures’ oft-exaggerated sexual dimorphism – that is, male and female butterflies of the same species can differ greatly in both size and coloration.

david-child-butterfly p3-butterfly
Children from The Russell School in Richmond with Sir David Attenborough are charmed by a swallowtail at the Big Butterfly Count launch in our butterfly house this morning.


Since butterflies display their brightest colors on their wings, marked asymmetry in the color and patterning of the wing scales is easily noticed from a distance by both human observers and hungry predators.

Gynandromorphic House Sparrows

gynandromorph-house-sparrow-triGynandromorphic House Sparrow observed in Catalonia, Spain © J.C. Abella/Revista Catalana d’Ornitologia

There was a taleJ.C. Abella, 2002 of two probably gynandromorphic House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) in two cities in Catalonia, Spain encountered during banding surveys in the late 90s. These again, exemplify the relatively more rare case of male markings on the left and female phenotype on the right.

gynandromorph-rose-breasted-grosbeakA gynandromorphic Rose-breased Grosbeak in transitional plumage, as indicated by the red wing lining on the right (male) side only. © Robert Mulvihill and Adrienne Leppold/Powdermill ARC

Gynandromorph Crab

Gynandromorph Crablink

One claw two claw red claw blue claw… now hold on a sec, Blue Crab males have blue claws while Blue Crab females have red claws. What to make of a Blue Crab with one blue claw and one red claw, like the one caught by waterman Dave Johnson (above) in a crab pot off the coast of Gwynn’s Island, Virginia on May 21st of 2005?


The crab, called a "bilateral gynandromorph," is split right down the middle—its right half female and its left half male.

Gynandromorph Spider

gynandromorph spiderlink

This is a spider from my captive groups. Some of you might find this interesting. It is a gynandromorph Poecilotheria subfusca, meaning that it is half male and half female. Aren’t spiders creepy enough without adding gynandromorphism to the mix? Actually, arachnids aren’t creepy at all – it’s all in your head, or ON your head if you don’t watch where you’re going!

gynandromorph spider 01link


Spiders don’t exhibit as much sexual dimorphism as some insects (and spiders aren’t insects, trivia buffs) but gynandromorphs are still quite obvious even without an up-close-and-personal inspection.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Unique Swimming with Wild Predators

See wild animals-predators in their natural environment is always aroused the attention and mild chills in many people. But swimming and shooting predators rise in everyone adrenaline, fear of unexpected reactions that carry in their genes. Here are some rare photos recorded where people still muster. For some, it just seems to work.

Swimming in the Crocodile

Swimming in the crocodilelink

As prehistoric predators, crocodiles have a fearsome man-eating reputation, but little is known of their behaviour underwater in the wild. Now scientists are risking their lives to study the reptiles in their natural habitat. But can it ever be safe to dive with a crocodile?

Swimming in the crocodile 01link

swimming with crocodile 01link

swimming in the crocodile 03link

They have been around for more than 100 million years, but much crocodile behaviour remains a mystery, as they spend around 80% of their lives underwater.


swimming with crocodile in Nilelink

Adam and Lizzy crocodilelink

swimming with crocodile 00link

Nile crocodiles can grow up to 6m long, live up to 100 years old, and weigh up to half a tonne. Fully grown crocs have the strongest bite of any animal, and they are indiscriminate about what they eat - wildebeest, fish or humans.

Swimming with Anaconda

Swimming with Anacondalink

It lurks just inches below the surface coiled and ready to strike - and yet you wouldn't know it was there.These remarkable images show the enormous 26-foot (eight metre) anacondas of Mato Grosso in Brazil searching for prey in the murky depths.

swimming with pitonlink

An anaconda is a large, non-venomous snake found in tropical South America. Although the name actually applies to a group of snakes, it is often used to refer only to one species in particular, the common or green anaconda, Eunectes murinus, which is one of the largest snakes in the world.

They were captured by brave diver and snake enthusiast Franco Banfi, 53, who joined the beasts in their natural habitat armed only with a camera.

swimming with big anacondalink

swimming with 8m anacondalink

Say cheese! Banfi, 53, goes up close to take an underwater shot of one of the anacondas. He saw six huge female snakes during his time in Brazil.

Swimming with Shark

swimming in the crocodile 0link

The great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias, also known as the great white, white pointer, white shark, or white death, is a species of large lamniform shark which can be found in the coastal surface waters of all the major oceans. The great white shark is mainly known for its size, with the largest individuals known to have approached or exceeded 6 m (20 ft) in length, and 2,268 kg (5,000 lb) in weight. This shark reaches its maturity around 15 years of age and can have a life span of over 30 years.

Swimming whith sharklink

woman swimming with big white sharklink

Divers pose face-to-face with the predators WITHOUT any protective gear

She described her dance with the massive animal, saying how in the beginning she watched ‘the shark acknowledge and observe me, while I peacefully and calmly allowed it to swim towards me, and then experiencing it accepting my touch, allowing me to dorsal and tail ride,’ in her description of the experience.

The shark lover wants to challenge the misconceptions people have about the oceanic predatorsThe shark lover wants to challenge the misconceptions people have about the oceanic predators

woman swimming with big white shark 00link

Commonly thought of as the most voracious man-eating predators of the seas, these creatures actually need to gain confidence in their visitors from the surface before approaching them.Tail-riding through the ocean on the back of a great white shark Ocean Ramsey looks relaxed as she smiles confidently.The stunning show of bravery is even more impressive considering she is swimming with one of the world's most feared ocean predators without protection

swimming with the big white sharkA diver takes a swim next to a great white shark in “Disneynature: Oceans.”

Swimming with Orcas

swimming with orcas 01 Ingrid Visser swims with orca for her research

The killer whale (Orcinus orca), also referred to as the orca whale or orca, and less commonly as the blackfish, is a toothed whale belonging to the oceanic dolphin family. Killer whales are found in all oceans, from the frigid Arctic and Antarctic regions to tropical seas.

swimming with dangerous orcaslink

swimming with orcas 02link

Killer whales as a species have a diverse diet, although individual populations often specialize in particular types of prey. Some feed exclusively on fish, while others hunt marine mammals such as sea lions, seals, walruses, and even large whales. Killer whales are regarded as apex predators, lacking natural predators.

When animals tu-rn on their trainerslink

swimming with orca in wellingtonIf a baby orca is in the pack, swimming with them is illegal

One eager man was seen snorkelling with them as they rounded the harbour side of the Miramar Peninsula – something which is against the law if a juvenile orca was present.

Bonus-Swimming with Hippo

Swimming with Hipo

Is that a vegetarian diet, but can be very dangerous to man. Brave: Penny's daughter Holly learned to take calculated risks when living in South Africa, such as swimming with this hippo.


The hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), or hippo, from the ancient Greek for "river horse" (ἱπποπόταμος), is a large, mostly herbivorous mammal in sub-Saharan Africa, and one of only two extant species in the family Hippopotamidae (the other is the pygmy hippopotamus). After the elephant and rhinoceros, the hippopotamus is the third largest type of land mammal and the heaviest extant artiodactyl.


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