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Can a frog change gender
Hello there! I hope that you all are fine and having a healthier life at your home. I hope this platform you are getting all your queries solved related to animals day by day. So, today we are discussing a fascinating and curious issue, which is the change of gender. Surprisingly there are animals out there who do this.
Besides this, I have written several articles unleashing beautiful and surprising phenomena about frogs. To discover the differences between frogs and toads, you can check out the article “Difference between frogs and toads.”
Many researchers and lab specialists have found frogs changing their genders frequently during the lab tests. But, interestingly, they are now observing this phenomenon in the wild as well. What’s the reason behind this which has forced us to think about Can a frog change gender?
The prime reason behind this is a pesticide called Atrazine. This particular weed killer, a pesticide is banned in most countries, particularly America. Therefore the production of this weed killer is halted for many years.
Even still, illegal entities use them, and as a result, the rivers and ponds become the target to dispose of the harmful leftovers of the toxins. The result is this chemical promotes the production of the female hormone estrogen and suppresses or ultimately diminishes the creation of a male hormone called testosterone.
As a result, the male frogs are converting into females with fully developed female organs. This entire practice poses a significant threat to amphibians mainly, which are already present in the endangered list of animals.
Can a frog change gender? Conversion of genders observed in healthy frogs:
Initially, the phenomenon was only observable in testing labs and very polluted areas. But unfortunately, the process can now be observed in natural habitats (Tropical/Rain forests).
Which provides the basis for an animal to convert into another gender? The hard truth is that the process of sex and sexual behavior in frogs is way more complicated than we thought.
Many creatures, besides frogs, can change their genders depending upon the external environment. For example, animals like snakes and fishes may be affected by their ecosystem, so they may have to change their gender. There is more to: Can a frog change gender?
Another example is that sea turtles if inhabited in warmer sands; there are more chances that they will get converted into females. On the other hand, mammals do not have any such tendency to change their genders. They are bound by their genes to be a male or a female.
So coming back to the question, Can a frog change gender? Amphibians, in comparison to mammals, fall somewhere in between the categories of mammals and reptiles. In general, they are mainly affected by their genetics, but you cannot avoid the effects of the environment on them.
Some genetically made female hormones can provoke genetically male frogs to develop into female frogs. Now, the process is also evident in the wild. In 2014, a research paper showed that toxic chemicals from the factories seeped through ponds and lakes. It results in the conversion of male frog larvae into female adult frogs.
Can a frog change gender? I am sure you are now suspecting your question because the above sections depicted some reasons for the evolution of their gender.
But the question Can a frog change gender is only related to pollution? A research paper published in February has done some investigations on the frogs found in water bodies. The studies found out that there is no relationship between Can a frog change gender? to the extent of the human population in the area.
They found that frogs can do the conversion of gender depending upon the environment as well. It may be related to change in temperature or some other factor associated with that particular location. In simple words, they can adjust or mould their sexuality.
Now, the surprising fact is the question, Can a frog change gender? It does not only hold for frogs. Miraculously, lizards also express the same behavior of gender conversion.
Research about the frogs of ponds:
To further inspect the question Can a frog change gender? Research was done on the green frogs at 18 different ponds. These ponds have diverse ecosystems and environmental variables. Out of these 18 ponds, the location of four lakes was in the area in which there was no human population, which means they were typical forests.
What do you think the team looked for in that research? They probed the question sincerely, Can a frog change gender?
They analyzed which kind of frogs have that genetic mutation. It explains being genetically male while on the physical body; the frog has the female reproductive parts.
To their surprise, in seven ponds, the females who are genetically females are developed into males. On the other hand, in the remaining eight lakes, the frogs which are genetically male become females.
Note: the females have two X chromosomes, whereas males have one X and one Y chromosome. The ratio of gender conversion is below 5% in these ponds, but in one lake, this ratio seemed very high, almost 10%.
They also looked for structures similar to eggs in the testes of males. Out of those 18 lakes, 11 lakes have a drastic number of males that have these egg-like structures.
Unfortunately, the researchers couldn’t find what is the main reason behind the question Can a frog change gender They said that temperature doesn’t have any direct effect on the ratio of gender conversion or neither any synthetic human-made chemical. Instead, it’s a ghost process. The frogs are naturally able to do this whenever or in what kind of conditions they want.
Can a frog change gender? It is somehow related to the genetic factor as well. A researcher says that a male frog can develop female cells naturally.
Suppose an individual with XX chromosome, but later on due to some problematic environmental conditions, it develops into a female. However, still, it may contain the previous gender structures(egg-like cells).
Similarly, females can transform themselves into males, generally at some point in their lives. The fact is both of the processes mentioned above can be accurate, but yet it remains a mystery.
One thing that is very important regarding the question: Can a frog change gender? is that the conversion of gender is only possible when they are in larvae or tadpole stages. Once they are grown up as adults, they cannot switch their sexes.
Can a frog change gender? What’s the point?
It may seem very awkward to change their sex. But this sex reversal process has one significant advantage as well. The major advantage which I am talking about is the “genetic variety or diversity.”
The fact is males pass the Y chromosome onto their offspring, and as a result, they don’t have a fair chance to make combinations like X.
So, a female with a Y chromosome can breed more effectively raising males with no genetic mutations and thus passing on the healthy genes.
Frogs Pollution factor:
Though pollution may not have a direct effect on the sex reversal process, it still affects it. Therefore, we have to make a struggle towards the ban of the toxins.
A researcher says that: “There is nothing unobvious about the sex reversal process which is taking place in amphibians due to harmful toxins which we are releasing to the environment.”