Female Fish Grows Male Organs to Impregnate Herself

Monday, March 28, 2016


Researchers from the University of Hull and the University of East Anglia, UK have come across a rare finding wherein a female fish grew male reproductive organs to impregnate itself and give birth to its offspring.

Researchers said that this process is known as ‘selfing’ and is very rare in vertebrates. Prior to this discovery, researchers from both the Universities bred two different species of cichlid fish, which resulted in the birth of several offspring. One female among these offspring developed male reproductive organs where it ejected sperm into the water and then sucked it into its mouth to fertilise the eggs therein.

The female fish self–fertilised many times over the course of a year and gave birth to 42 offspring–both male and female. Scientists believe that the selfing process in the cichlid female is likely due to its parents having different sex–determining genes.

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