Sex-reversed bearded reptiles, Pogona Vitticeps, were hatched in Australia. These reptiles of the Australian desert lay male eggs that can transform into females when hatched in the right temperature. They have this one unique trait in the entire animal kingdom.
Generally, sex chromosomes decide the gender in other animal species, but these dragons lizards have a unique process, where sex chromosomes and environmental temperature together decided the gender of a lizard. The strange thing is that they bear the behavioral characteristics of male personality.
Some findings published in The Royal Society explains the unique trait of the transformation of eggs into female-suited temperatures.
Live Science reports that if a mother dragon lays eggs with genetically male traits, and then set to a temperature at which female trait develops; possibly the offsprings will hatch with unusual features. It requires a temperature above 89.6 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees).
Researchers analyzed, 55 ordinary males, 40 ordinary females and 20 sex-reversed females. They sifted the physical traits and their ability to live in environmental conditions. It turned out that sex-reversed females were bolder, more assertive and aggressive in nature as compared to ordinary males and females. They possessed higher evolutionary fitness.
“I’m intrigued by the notion that the simple, clear-cut division of animals into ‘male’ and ‘female’ may fail to capture the true complexity of the situation,” said Richard Shine,the study’s senior author.
As per the report, reversal of ZZ genotype into female phenotype causes differences in morphology, physiology and general behavior of the lizards.
In the entire animal kingdom this transformation was only noticed in the dragons with respect to environmental changes. In a report by Popular Science, Shine said:“On the other hand, it might generate an over-reaction to sudden changes in climate. 50/50 sex ratios are the safe evolutionary option – a population that produced 100 percent male or female offspring because of a sudden change in nest temperatures would be in real trouble.”