Hermaphroditism: A Primer on the Biology, Ecology, and Evolution of Dual Sexuality

Hermaphroditism: A Primer on the Biology, Ecology, and Evolution of Dual Sexuality

by John Avise

Hardcover(New Edition)

View All Available Formats & Editions
Usually ships within 1 week


While it is true that members of most sexually reproducing species can be defined as either male or female, those who belong to the rest of the biological world are not so simply understood. Hermaphroditic creatures reproduce both as male and as female individuals, providing a fascinating glimpse into alternative sexual practices in nature and their ecological and evolutionary successes and failures.

Eloquently written by an award-winning biologist and pioneer in molecular ecology, this primer on hermaphroditism traces the phenomenon throughout Earth's myriad species, accounting for the adaptive significance of alternative sexual systems. Accessible and richly illustrated, the text maps the evolutionary origins of hermaphroditism, as well as its historical instances and fictional representations, underscoring the relevance of dual sexuality to our biological, intellectual, and cultural making. John C. Avise describes the genetics, ecology, phylogeny, and natural history of hermaphroditic plants, fish, and invertebrate animals and details organisms that either reproduce simultaneously as male and female or switch routinely between one sex and the other. Filled with surprising creatures and compelling revelations, this textbook stands alone in its clear yet comprehensive treatment of hermaphroditism and its unique challenge to the supremacy of separate sexes.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231153867
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 03/18/2011
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

John C. Avise is Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Irvine. He is an elected member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the author or editor of 20 books, including most recently Inside the Human Genome: A Case for Non-intelligent Design; Molecular Ecology and Evolution: The Organismal Side; and Clonality: The Genetics, Ecology, and Evolution of Sexual Abstinence in Vertebrate Animals.

Table of Contents

The Phenomenon of Dual Sexuality
Hermaphroditism in Fiction
Hermaphroditism in the Real World
1. Two Sexes in One
Maleness and Femaleness
Anisogamy and the Separate-sex Condition
Sex Ratios in Separate-sex Taxa
Sex Ratios in Hermaphroditic Taxa
Hermaphroditism Versus Separate Sexes
2. Dual-sex Plants
Alternative Sexual Systems: Natural History and Examples
Cosexuality Versus Dioecy
Selfing Versus Outcrossing
Sexual Selection in Plants
3. Dual-sex Invertebrates
Biological Examples
Sex Determination and Pseudohermaphroditism
Evolutionary Histories: Gonochorism and Hermaphroditism
Selfing Versus Outcrossing
Sex Allocation in Simultaneous Hermaphrodites
Sex Allocation in Sequential Hermaphrodites
Conclusions About Sex Allocation Theory
Sexual Selection
4. Dual-sex Vertebrates
Sexual Flexibility
Sequential Hermaphroditism
Adaptive Significance of Alternative Modes
Simultaneous Hermaphroditism
References Cited

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews