Rare Birds in Colombia Exhibit Both Male and Female Characteristics: Hermaphroditism Phenomenon in Emerald Hummingbirds

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WARTAINDONESIA EN – The recent discovery in the wildlife world has startled the scientific community with the existence of rare birds in Colombia exhibiting both male and female characteristics simultaneously. This occurrence is considered a rare case among birds, particularly in the case of emerald hummingbirds (Chlorofanes spiza), which had not been recorded with hermaphroditic traits for over a century.

These birds caught the attention of researchers when first observed in 2019 in one of the cities in the Caldas province, northern-central Colombia. In a study published in December in the Journal of Field Ornithology, experts stated that these birds have blue feathers distinguishing the males on the right side and green feathers distinguishing females on the left.

The size of these birds can reach up to 14 centimeters, and the species is distributed in regions stretching from Mexico to Brazil. According to researchers, hermaphroditism in this case is believed to result from mutations during egg cell division, followed by dual fertilization by separate sperm. Although similar incidents are occasionally recorded in insects and crustaceans, this is the first case documented in emerald hummingbirds.

John Murio, an amateur photographer who first discovered these birds in 2019, expressed his luck in observing this unique creature for over a year. “I was fortunate to see a bird that is truly different from anything we’ve seen before,” he said.

These birds display peculiar behavior, especially in their social interactions. Local residents reported seeing females in green and males in blue flying, but not both colors simultaneously.

Research also indicates that these birds tend to avoid interactions with other individuals of the same species, raising questions about the possibility of reproduction.

The study concludes, “Overall, it tends to avoid other birds of its kind, and they also avoid it (…) so it seems unlikely for this bird to have breeding opportunities.”

This discovery provides new insights into the diversity of nature and highlights that there are still many mysteries in the wildlife world yet to be uncovered. Researchers hope that further studies will contribute to understanding this phenomenon and its impact on the sustainability of the emerald hummingbird population in Colombia and the surrounding regions.

Asmita Hasibuan

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