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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

In biology, gonochorism (Greek offspring + disperse) or unisexualism describes sexually reproducing species in which individuals have just one of at least two distinct sexes. The term is most often used with animals (whereas dioecious is usually used with plants). The sex of an individual, once determined, does not change during its lifetime. Sex is most often genetically determined, but may be determined by other mechanisms. For example, alligators use temperature dependent sex determination during egg incubation. Good examples of gonochoric or dioecious pollination are hollies, and kiwifruit. In these plants the male plant which supplies the pollen is referred to as the pollenizer. The vast majority of mammals are gonochorists.

Gonochorism stands in contrast to other reproductive strategies such as hermaphroditism.

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