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One advantage of being a hermaphrodite?

Updated: 4/28/2022
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12y ago

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An advantages would be that you dont need to rely on others to keep reproducing ( ie: animals are able to keep populating without the need to find a mate)

But a disadvantage would be that there is less genetic diversity.

The above is a very limited, very narrow case, as it only applies to those hermaphrodites which are self-compatible (IE. many angiosperm species (flowering plants)) and only under certain conditions. The real advantage of hermaphroditism is an increase in the number of effectively breeding individuals in the population. To put it in layman's terms: A hermaphrodite is much more likely to be able to mate with any individual of the same species it encounters. IE. In a separate sexed population containing equal numbers of males and females, any given individual has a 50% chance that the next individual it encounters will be of the right sex to mate with. A simultaneous hermaphrodite, however, will be able to mate with 100% of its own population, meaning it has to use much less energy to seek out a breeding partner.

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