The biological process by which new individuals are formed.

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5answers
3k views

Why are not all species hermaphrodites?

If a hermaphrodite animal (like slug, snail, etc) finds a partner they can mate immediately. If another animal with "normal" reproduction (lets say a mouse) finds a partner they can only mate if they ...
14
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3answers
367 views

Are human fetuses more likely to be male?

Question: From a physiological point of view, when sex is determined in a human fetus, is it equally likely to be male or female? Studies in this area typically measure age at birth, where the data ...
14
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1answer
1k views

Why do some mammals not have testes in a scrotum?

Coming from an evolutionary approach, Is the only purpose of a scrotum to regulate the temperature of the testes? Knowing all mammals are warm blooded, shouldn't all mammals have testes in a ...
11
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0answers
60 views

Beginning of the urogenital system

Are any invertebrate nephridia (proto/meta) homologous with vertebrate kidneys in the sense that embryologically they also begin together with the genital system? When did the embryologic association ...
10
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2answers
239 views

Have we ever observed two drosophila lineages that evolved reproductive isolation in labs?

Background The standard definition of species refers to the concept of reproductive isolation. If two lineages are found to be reproductively isolated, then we consider these two lineages to belong ...
9
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3answers
1k views

Species with reproduction barriers that can both reproduce with a third species

To start with, I do not have a sound knowledge in biology or any formal education in the area. I was told that one of the definition of a species is a reproductive barrier, which means that if two ...
9
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2answers
233 views

Do twins “run in the family”?

My wife and I recently found out that we are going to have twins and so nearly everyone asks if we have a family history of twins. Now I know that the answer for me is that it doesn't matter—as ...
8
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1answer
153 views

Why does the gender of the parent species determines the species of a hybrid offspring

I've read a little about hybrid animals, and have been amazed by the fact that the gender of the parent species determine the species of the offspring, in some hybrids. A male horse and a female ...
8
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1answer
299 views

Is sexual reproduction outside the same biological family possible? Has it ever occured successfully?

Are there any examples of two species taxonomically classified in different biological families that have successfully hybridized and produced viable offspring? If not, is there an example of where ...
8
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2answers
151 views

Why does the chance of having a baby with Down's syndrome increase with the age of the mother?

Down's syndrome occurs when either the egg or the sperm cell contain on extra chromosome 21. To my understanding, women are born with all the egg cells in place already, so there's no further cell ...
8
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1answer
311 views

Could humans and chimpanzees hybridize?

In some cases two species can hybridize. For example, Tigers and lions can hybridize to produce "Ligers". Would it also be possible for humans and chimpanzees (or any other species) to hybridize ? ...
8
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1answer
426 views

A timeline of the odds for survival for fertilized eggs and fetuses

I'm looking for data to build a timeline of the odds for survival of a fertilized egg, i.e., What are the odds it'll last a week? What are the odds it'll last a month? 2 months? (and so on ...
7
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1answer
410 views

Which sex has higher variance of reproductive rate in modern societies - male or females?

Who has a more varied reproduction rate in modern western societies - men or women? The average rate is the same of course, but I wonder which sex have higher variance - higher variance means that ...
7
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2answers
527 views

Do hormone drugs affect whether a person feels sexual attraction to males or females?

I know that ingesting testosterone and other hormonal drugs may stimulate libido and increase sexual desire. But I wonder, if a man ingests female hormones such as estrogen, will he experience sexual ...
7
votes
1answer
403 views

When do most mammals mate?

Is one part of the day more prevalent then other when it comes to mammal animals mating? Is there an aggregating study that has been done to see if these living beings in nature mate mostly during day ...
7
votes
1answer
353 views

Do egg laying animals experience a pregnancy?

Does a female animal that lays eggs experience a pregnancy-like period of time, where she will feel and behave differently as if she were fertilized and her body is prepared to lay a fertile egg, not ...
6
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2answers
7k views

Can positive and negative blood type of a couple lead to miscarriage?

I want to know can $+ve$ and $-ve$ blood group of a couple could be a cause of miscarriage in pregnancy?
6
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1answer
346 views

Is it purely the nervous system causing vaginal lubrication (arousal)?

My girlfriend was watching some documentary on TLC about a paralyzed woman getting pregnant. I believe that woman still has some feeling, as she spoke about feeling the effects of a bladder ...
6
votes
1answer
185 views

Effect of spaying on the female cat organism and health

Veterinarians often recommend spaying a female cat if the owner does not want her to have kittens. What does biology know about the effect of spaying on female cats' organism and health (apart from ...
6
votes
2answers
100 views

Why did women historically have such a high mortality rate during birth?

Historically women had a relatively high chance of dying while giving birth. At first thought it seems to me that this would be a disadvantage for the species for the obvious reason that a dead ...
6
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1answer
1k views

Why is fructose not glucose the main energy source of sperm?

The seminal fluid contains fructose as the main energy source for the sperm and not glucose. Why is fructose and not glucose the primary energy source for these sperm, since glucose is the ...
6
votes
1answer
218 views

How selfish is Dictyostelium slug formation?

Dictyostelium is a slime mold which is well known for having a single cell free living phase and other some conditions (e.g. when food is scarce) for forming communal piles of cells called 'slugs' ...
6
votes
1answer
112 views

Macromolecule levels in daughter cells after fission

When a prokaryote undergoes binary fission, how are the non-DNA macromolecules distributed between the two daughter cells? This is motivated by comments on a previous question and a G+ discussion. I ...
6
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1answer
312 views

Regulation in plants bearing cleistogamous and chasmogamous flowers

In most plants bearing cleistogamous flowers, chasmogamous flowers are also borne by the plants. For example, Viola, Oxalis and Commelina contain both these kinds of flowers.( I am unaware of a ...
5
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2answers
448 views

The probability of indirect human fertilization?

What is the probability of conception in situations when sperm isn't directly ejaculated into the woman's vagina, like: The man's or the woman's hands come into contact with sperm, for example when ...
5
votes
3answers
134 views

Does our eyeball increase in size as we grow?

Does the size of the eye increase as we develop from the stage the complete eye first forms to infancy and then to adulthood ?
5
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1answer
186 views

What evolutionary pressures pushed Galápagos tortoises to mature so slowly and live so long?

I read that they take up to 40 years (in the wild) to reach the age of reproduction and are thought to live over 100 years, with one in captivity reaching over 170 years. Can someone explain in ...
5
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2answers
470 views

How are the gene sequences of individual sperm and egg cells “randomized”?

What I mean by "randomized" is, in the place where an egg cell or sperm cell is made, what is the mechanism by which each one is not made identically? Though I am a layman, I'm pretty sure that if the ...
5
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1answer
93 views

Reproduction and defecation

In mammals and birds the external reproductive organs and waste removal organs see to be the same. Is this always the case with other animals such as insects etc...? Are there any good reasons for it? ...
5
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0answers
72 views

Neuroendocrinal mechanism of parturition

My book reads, "The fetus signals that it is mature by secreting certain hormones that diffuse across the placenta into mother's blood and cause the secretion of oxytocin from her posterior ...
5
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0answers
129 views

Cytoplasmic determinants - protostomes and deuterostomes

Cytoplasmic determinants are spread unevenly in the egg, and so when embryo starts forming (cells start dividing), the determinants are also unequally divided between cell. This unequal distribution ...
4
votes
1answer
146 views

How can the child and the mother have different blood types?

As far as I know the fetus is fed by the umbilical cord which basically connects his/her circulatory system with the mother's in order to supply oxygen and nutrients. But how is this possible if they ...
4
votes
1answer
74 views

Why is there sperm mitochondrial suicide?

The mitochondria in the sperm are digested upon entry into the egg, making mDNA inheritance exclusively female. What is the advantage of this? Wouldn't some male mDNA be beneficial because of the ...
4
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1answer
73 views

What are possible health risks to women having large numbers of children?

What is the possible health issue the women would face in this record? The record for most children born to a single couple belongs to the first wife of Feodor Vassilyev of Russia. In 27 ...
4
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3answers
94 views

Does the genetic material the sperm carries affect it's physical properties

Basically, what I'm asking is, is the actual sperm cell built from the blueprint in the DNA of the man or is it itself also a consequence of the DNA it carries? I'd like to know a few more things ...
4
votes
2answers
113 views

Asexual reproduction and Telomeres

Many eukaryotic organisms like yeasts, hydras , planarias, plants etc reproduce asexually. Replication of End of linear DNA pose a limit to the number of cell divisions. My question : Do asexually ...
4
votes
1answer
187 views

Causes of monozygotic twins

Twins could be monzygotic i.e. identical twins and dizygotic i.e. non-identical twins.Well, monozygotic twins occur when a single egg is fertilized to form a zygote which later divide into separate ...
4
votes
1answer
268 views

Why did mammals evolve to have two testes?

What makes mammals tend to evolve to have two testes?
4
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1answer
616 views

Is ovum + ovum fertilization possible for human?

In humans is it possible to fertilize a ovum with another ovum from the same female subject? I already found some works in which the ovum is fertilized by a somatic cell (see e.g. this ), but I am ...
4
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2answers
150 views

Is every part of a virus important for replication?

Is every component of a virus absolutely essential for its infection and replication in a host cell? Or can you just have parts of it to cause infection?
4
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1answer
90 views

Why isn't RH disease present in other mammals?

Basically, I have read about RH disease, Its rare but it can happen when an RH + baby is conceived by an RH - mother. This raises many questions. I have heard this problem only happens with humans, ...
4
votes
1answer
41 views

Are there any studies on the fertility levels of humans/mammals as a function of their stay at Antarctica?

Wikipedia, and Space.SE seem to indicate humans become infertile in space due to the increased exposure to cosmic rays. Knowing as we do that Antarctica is holey, and subject to increased radiation ...
4
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1answer
63 views

Productive turnover and generations in the fruit fly

I was reading about the Lenski experiments on the evolution of E. coli bacterium and Dr. Elders's experiments on the evolution of the guppy. These two experiments absolutely fascinated me, and seemed ...
4
votes
1answer
46 views

Gender and age-specific mutation rate in plants

Background General concept According to Cochran and Harpending (2013), mothers transmits on average a number $x$ of new mutations to their offspring. This number $x$ is independent of the age of the ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Can the third sex be categorized as Male or Female?

Hijra are people who have a penis (not sure if sexually active) but look much like a female (perhaps for some feminine biological property). Wikipedia says they are "physiological males who have ...
3
votes
2answers
127 views

Why, specifically, does each generation, on average, improve upon the design of the species rather than degrade it?

In every non-life example I can envision, a copy of a copy is always a degraded or less pure version of the original unless some outside influence acts to correct the copy back toward the ideal ...
3
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2answers
113 views

Are identical twins exactly the same?

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=identical-twins-genes-are-not-identical According to this article some identical twins show differences with respect to their copy number variants. ...
3
votes
1answer
35 views

How can Taenia solium (tapeworm) lay 35,000 eggs per proglottid?

As far as I know TAENIA SOLIUM is an acoelomate which basically means that the space between the alimentary canal and the gut is completely filled [or] occupied by the mesoderm and they do not have ...
3
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1answer
55 views

Alternating Ovulation

I have often heard that right and left ovaries alternate in releasing ovum. Is it always true? What controls this rhythm? Is it simply because the other ovary is unresponsive to LH or FSH? If so, ...
3
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1answer
108 views

Are any organisms known to use meiosis I to create non-identical offspring asexually?

So, there are numerous species of animals who use parthenogenesis, but to my knowledge the reproduction is clonal. That is, the offspring are identical to the mother. Are there any documented cases ...