Gynandromorph: Spectacular bird found with male plumage on one side and female on the other

ap bird feat x
Rose-breasted grosbeak gynandromorph. Credit: Annie Lindsay

Split down the middle, with one side flaunting yellow ‘wing pits’, and the other side rocking a pink underwing, researchers say this spectacular-looking songbird is one for the record books.

While we can’t be sure without a blood test or an autopsy, the team says this rose-breasted grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) is probably the product of a genetic anomaly known as bilateral gynandromorphy, one we’ve seen in birds before.

Unlike true hermaphroditism, which refers to having both male and female reproductive tissues, gynandromorphs display contrasting sexual characteristics on each side of their body.

Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

In this case, while one side of the rose-breasted grosbeak appears genetically female, the other side shows all the hallmarks of a genetic male.

Related article:  Have humans hit an evolutionary wall? Top scientists offer their views

Even the backs of its wings and tail show crucial sexual differences, with the left side displaying a browner shade and the right side a blacker one.

If the bird is anything like other gynandromorphs we’ve found, this left-right division might go for its insides, too, including its brain and its reproductive organs.

“The entire banding team was very excited to see such a rarity up close, and are riding the high of this once-in-a-lifetime experience,” says the program manager Annie Lindsay.

“One of them described it as ‘seeing a unicorn’ and another described the adrenaline rush of seeing something so remarkable.”

Read the original post

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Sometime in 2019, probably in China, SARS CoV-2 figured out a way to interact with a specific "spike" on the ...

Philip Njemanze: Leading African anti-GMO activist claims Gates Foundation destroying Nigeria

Nigerian anti-GMO activist, physician, and inventor pushes anti-gay and anti-GMO ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend