Wading birds: shorebirds with unusual social structures

,Waders like wet conditions. They look for insects and other creepy-crawlies in the damp earth. Some species, such as the Mexican snowy plover or the ruff have developed fascinating behavioural patterns. Clemens Küpper and ...

Male treefrogs get the jump on rivals

The inconsistent sexual signals of male treefrogs have made it more difficult for females to find a quality mate, according to a new study by a researcher at The University of Western Australia.

Why women leaders are excelling during the coronavirus pandemic

Since the beginning of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there's been a lot of media attention paid to the relationship between female leaders at the helm of various nations and the effectiveness of their handling of the ...

Can we really tell male and female dinosaurs apart?

Scientists worldwide have long debated our ability to identify male and female dinosaurs. Now, research led by Queen Mary University of London has shown that despite previous claims of success, it's very difficult to spot ...

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Female

Female (♀) is the sex of an organism, or a part of an organism, which produces mobile ova (egg cells). The ova are defined as the larger gametes in a heterogamous reproduction system, while the smaller, usually motile gamete, the spermatozoon, is produced by the male. A female individual cannot reproduce sexually without access to the gametes of a male (an exception is parthenogenesis). Some organisms can reproduce both sexually and asexually.

There is no single genetic mechanism behind sex differences in different species and the existence of two sexes seems to have evolved multiple times independently in different evolutionary lineages. Other than the defining difference in the type of gamete produced, differences between males and females in one lineage cannot always be predicted by differences in another. The concept is not limited to animals; egg cells are produced by chytrids, diatoms, water moulds and land plants, among others. In land plants, female and male designate not only the egg- and sperm-producing organisms and structures, but also the structures of the sporophytes that give rise to male and female plants.

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