Sex change is a process by which a person or animal changes sex — that is, by which female sexual characteristics are substituted for male ones or vice versa. Sex change may occur naturally, as in the case of the sequential hermaphroditism observed in some species. Most commonly, however, the term is used for sex reassignment therapy , including sex reassignment surgery , carried out on humans. It is also sometimes used for the medical procedures applied to intersex people. The term may also be applied to the broader process of changing gender role "living as a woman" instead of living as a man, or vice versa , including but not necessarily limited to medical procedures. Some species exhibit sequential hermaphroditism. In these species, such as many species of coral reef fishes, sex change is a normal anatomical process. A school of clownfish is always built into a hierarchy with a female fish at the top. When she dies, the most dominant male changes sex and takes her place.
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From an evolutionary and biological perspective, animals are driven to have sex in order to procreate. But there is a lot more to sexual relations between animals. Animal sex is at least as strange and varied as human sex. A male might copulate with many females. And female animals of many species can be choosy, too. Homosexuality is common. Monogamy is rare. And the animal kingdom is full of swingers. In short, with animals, sex can be wild. Enormous and powerful coconut crabs are known for their extreme size.
Homo sapiens do not have a monopoly on strange sex. Peculiar mating rituals are prevalent throughout the animal kingdom. While writing my book Sex Weird-o-Pedia , these were the 10 most interesting animal sex facts I came across.
A male will bite onto his lady friend, then fuse his face to her body. He lives the rest of his days like this, releasing sperm when she releases eggs. That little bump at the back of her belly? That's her husband. Antechinus is a little Australian marsupial whose males go on a three-week, testosterone-fueled sex frenzy. What kind of frenzy? The kind where they have so much sex that they lose their fur, bleed internally, and sometimes go blind.