[Tweeters] Intersex Mallard @ Black River, Renton

mcallisters4 at comcast.net mcallisters4 at comcast.net
Tue Mar 5 20:11:45 PST 2019

The engineers in my orbit were already justifiably frustrated by the lack of precision and predictability in the counsel of biologists… and now this.

Kelly McAllister

That article points out that unlike with humans, female birds are the gender that has mixed chromosomes - one W and one Z — Males have two Z. So, all female birds have a Z chromosome that carries all the plumage info for males. The article claims that after a female duck’s ovary stops working, there is less pressure to suppress those male characteristics.

But there’s more! Apparently sometimes this progresses to the point of previous female birds transitioning to males, complete with the ability to become fertile as males and ‘father’ chicks.

I saw a couple less-credibly sourced references to male birds [usually chickens] also sometimes transitioning to female

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