Three simple questions that I found myself unable to answer

Rich Young young at cldx.com
Wed Jun 7 10:46:15 EST 1995


In article <3qkq4l$e6p at arcadia.informatik.uni-muenchen.de> nitschh at informatik.uni-muenchen.de (Helmar Nitsch) writes:

	OK...I'll try my hand at these.....

[...]

>1. Do insects have to sleep? If so, what is the
>most sohisticated species that does not have to sleep?
>(I take it that amebia and the like don't sleep.)

	I think the true answer will depend to some extent on what is
	meant by "sleep."  Many insects go "dormant" during the day or
	during the night, but whether this is equivalent to "sleep" 
	would seem to be highly dependent on how loosely the word is
	defined.

	Don't know where (or even IF) a line might be drawn.

>2. Is there a female equivalent to male eunuchs (i.e. men, 
>that got their testicles removed)? What kind of changes in 
>appearance or behaviour does the removal or malfunction of 
>the corresponding female organ bring about?

	Ovario-hysterectomy...it's a common operation (far TOO common in
	the estimation of some).  It's common enough that nearly any
	medical book would cover it in some detail.

>3. Gorillas, Chimpansees and Orang-Utans each constitute a 
>species of their own. Does that mean that two individuals that 
>do not belong to the same species are strictly infertile, does 
>it mean that they can have babies which turn out infertile themselves,
>or is there no data available because apes of different species have a 
>natural barrier to mate and experiments with in vitro fertilisation have 
>not been carried out (for ethical or other reasons)? 

	I *think* it's the first: a mating between the species would not
	produce offspring.  It's kind of a moot point, however, because
	they live in different habitats and don't generally run into each
	other (especially orangutans).

	I don't know whether it's ever been tried in a lab (I can't think
	of a good reason WHY it would be attempted), but knowing the
	depth of research, I wouldn't dismiss the possibility.

		-Rich Young



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