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In these groups, hermaphroditism is a normal condition, enabling a form of sexual reproduction in which either partner can act as the "female" or "male".
The word intersex has come into preferred usage for humans, since the word hermaphrodite is considered to be misleading and stigmatizing, Since the estimated total number of animal species is 8.6 million, the percentage of animal species that are hermaphroditic is about .7%.
Arthropods are the phylum with the largest number of species.
Most hermaphroditic species exhibit some degree of self-fertilization.
The distribution of self-fertilization rates among animals is similar to that of plants, suggesting that similar processes are operating to direct the evolution of selfing in animals and plants.
which derives from Hermaphroditos ( Ἑρμαϕρόδιτος), the son of Hermes and Aphrodite in Greek mythology.
According to Ovid, he fused with the nymph Salmacis resulting in one individual possessing physical traits of male and female sexes; Alexander ab Alexandro stated, using the term hermaphrodite, that the people who bore the sexes of both man and woman were regarded by the Athenians and the Romans as monsters, and thrown into the sea at Athens and into the Tiber at Rome.
This contrasts simultaneous hermaphrodites, in which an individual may possess fully functional male and female gonads.
Sequential hermaphroditism is common in fish (particularly teleost fish) and some jellyfish, many gastropods (such as the common slipper shell), and some flowering plants.
While some sequential hermaphrodites can change sex multiple times, most can only change sex once.
which states that if an individual of a certain sex could significantly increase its reproductive success after reaching a certain size, it would be to their advantage to switch to that sex.
Sequential hermaphrodites can be divided into three broad categories: Dichogamy can have both conservation-related implications for humans, as mentioned above, as well as economic implications.
For instance, groupers are favoured fish for eating in many Asian countries and are often aquacultured.