Half female, half male.

A rare genetic disorder called bilateral gynandromorphism splits a creature perfectly in half. One side male and one side female.

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Rare genetic disorder Bilateral gynandromorphism as seen in lobsters.

This rare genetic disorder occurs in insects, arachnids, crustaceans, and birds but is unknown in humans.

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Half female, Half male: Perfect bilateral gynandromorphism as seen by birds.

Nature has many ways of combining genes, and some of these combinations evince a distinctly binary way of looking at the world. Such is the case with a genetic condition known as gynandromorphism.

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Half female, Half male: Perfect bilateral gynandromorphism as seen by a butterfly

In perfect bilateral gynandromorphism, the animal’s body is perfectly divided down the center. One side is male and the other side is female. Butterflies have two different colored wings. Chickens have different plumage on each side of the body. In some animals, such as insects, the size of each side of the body is markedly different.

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Half female, half male: Perfect bilateral gynandromorphism as seen by a chicken.

I am immediately reminded of the Indian God/Goddess Ardhanarishvara, who is half-male and half-female, split precisely down the middle. The deity is represented exactly like the animals are above, with one side male and the other female.

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half-male and half-female Indian God Ardhanarishvara

Perhaps this deity was inspired by a human being who suffered from bilateral gynandromorphism?

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