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- Temperatures can vary from year to year and an unusually cold or hot year might produce offspring all of one sex, making it hard for individuals to find mates.
- A possible advantage of hermaphroditism might be that anytime an individual of the same species is encountered a mating is possible, unlike separate sexes that must find an
individual of the right sex to mate. (Also, every individual in a hermaphrodite population is able to produce offspring, which is not the case in populations with separate sexes.) A
disadvantage might be that hermaphrodite populations are less efficient because they do not specialize in one sex or another, which means a hermaphrodite does not produce as many offspring
through eggs or sperm as do species with separate sexes. (Other answers are possible.)
- If multiple sperm fused with one egg, a zygote with a multiple ploidy level (multiple copies of the chromosomes) would form, and then would die.
- Stem cells are laid down in the male during gestation and lie dormant until adolescence. Stem cells in the female increase to one to two million and enter the first meiotic
division and are arrested in prophase. At adolescence, spermatogenesis begins and continues until death, producing the maximum number of sperm with each meiotic division. Oogenesis continues
again at adolescence in batches of eggs with each menstrual cycle. These primary oocytes finish the first meiotic division, producing a viable egg with most of the cytoplasm and its contents,
and a second cell called a polar body containing 23 chromosomes. The second meiotic division is initiated and arrested in metaphase. At ovulation, one egg is released. If this egg is
fertilized, it finishes the second meiotic division. This is a diploid, fertilized egg.
- Low levels of progesterone allow the hypothalamus to send GnRH to the anterior pituitary and cause the release of FSH and LH. FSH stimulates follicles on the ovary to grow and
prepare the eggs for ovulation. As the follicles increase in size, they begin to release estrogen and a low level of progesterone into the blood. The level of estrogen rises to a peak,
causing a spike in the concentration of LH. This causes the most mature follicle to rupture and ovulation occurs.
- Stage one of labor results in uterine contractions, which thin the cervix and dilate the cervical opening. Stage two delivers the baby, and stage three delivers the placenta.