For our class blog assignment this week, professor Myers wanted us to read a blog from another student, comment, and then write our own blow review it.
Going over the different entries, the half red half white bird caught my eye. This blog written by Miles is on gynandromorphy. Gynandromorphy is a condition where an organism has both male and female parts. The picture in this blog is of a cardinal. This occurs when the sex chromosomes do not separate equally in mitosis, and this causes a cell to contain both male and female sex chromosomes. An example is for a male (XY) to produce a cell with X and the other with XYY. The XYY cell then can develop into an organism that has bilateral symmetry of male and female structures.
I asked on his blog which color represents which sex. With some of my own research. It turns out that the male would be red reflecting the idea of sexual selection where the brighter color would attract females. The female would be a mix of a dull grey/white/red. I also asked if the organism is hermaphroditic. It turns out that hermaphrodites have reproductive organs or male and female, but the exterior characteristics are normal. An example is that there may be a butterfly that is a female, but has a male wing.
This condition is unique to cardinals because it does not occur in other birds. However, it does happen to other organisms like the butterfly shown below:
Tiger swallowtail: Males are yellow with black stripes, while females appear a dark blue.
Picture was from: http://e11e-k.deviantart.com/art/Gynandromorph-208458484