Scientists solve half-cock chicken mystery
The 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.
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.
NationalGeographic - 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.
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.
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
Gynandromorphic 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.
A 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
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.
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!
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.