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Encyclopedia > Female
The hand mirror and comb of the Roman Goddess Venus is often used to represent the female sex.

Female (♀) is the sex of an organism, or a part of an organism, which produces ova (egg cells). The ova are defined as the larger gametes in a heterogamous reproduction system, while the smaller, usually motile gamete, the spermatozoon is produced by the male. A female individual cannot reproduce sexually without access to the gametes of a male (an exception is parthenogenesis). Some organisms can reproduce both sexually and asexually. Female can mean: Look up female in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Image File history File links Female. ... Image File history File links Female. ... A mirror, reflecting a vase. ... A comb A comb for people with hair loss. ... Marble Venus of the Capitoline Venus type, Roman (British Museum) Venus was a major Roman goddess principally associated with love and beauty, the rough equivalent of the Greek goddess Aphrodite. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Life on Earth redirects here. ... A human ovum Sperm cells attempting to fertilize an ovum An ovum (plural ova) is a haploid female reproductive cell or gamete. ... A gamete (from Ancient Greek γαμετης; translated gamete = wife, gametes = husband) is a cell that fuses with another gamete during fertilization (conception) in organisms that reproduce sexually. ... Heterogamous describes a species in which gametes show sexual dimorphism (that is, sperm and egg). ... Motile A term to describe Intelligent Mobile Applications. ... A spermatozoon or spermatozoan ( spermatozoa), from the ancient Greek σπέρμα (seed) and (living being) and more commonly known as a sperm cell, is the haploid cell that is the male gamete. ... This article is about the Male sex. ... Sexual reproduction is a union that results in increasing genetic diversity of the offspring. ... This article is about the Male sex. ... For the religious belief, see Virgin Birth of Jesus. ... Sexual reproduction is a union that results in increasing genetic diversity of the offspring. ... It has been suggested that Parthenogenesis be merged into this article or section. ...


There is no single genetic mechanism behind sex differences in different species and the existence of two sexes seems to have evolved multiple times independently in different evolutionary lineages. Other than the defining difference in the type of gamete produced, differences between males and females in one lineage cannot always be predicted by differences in another. The concept is not limited to animals; egg cells are produced by chytrids, diatoms, water molds and land plants, among others. In land plants, female and male designate not only the egg- and sperm-producing organisms and structures, but also the structures of the sporophytes that give rise to male and female plants. This article is about evolution in biology. ... An evolutionary lineage (also called a clade) is composed of species, taxa, or individuals that are related by descent from a common ancestor. ... For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ... Orders Chytridiales Spizellomycetales Blastocladiales Monoblepharidales Neocallimasticales Chytridiomycota is a division of the Fungi kingdom and contains only one class, Chytridiomycetes. ... Orders Centrales Pennales Diatoms (Greek: (dia) = through + (temnein) = to cut, i. ... Orders Lagenidiales Leptomitales Peronosporales Pythiales Rhipidiales Saprolegniales Sclerosporales Water moulds or Oomycetes are a group of filamentous protists, physically resembling fungi. ... For other uses, see Plant (disambiguation). ... Young sporophytes of the common moss Tortula muralis. ...

Contents

Etymology and usage

The word female comes from the Latin femella, the diminutive form of femina, meaning 'woman', which is not actually related to the word 'male.' The word was probably originally femella, meaning "young girl". In the late 14th century, the English spelling was altered so that the word paralleled the spelling of "male". Diverse women. ...


The word female is generally considered neutral when used as an adjective; when used as a noun, it is often regarded as derogatory. Female judge would be preferable to woman judge; "This judge is a woman" would be preferable to "This judge is a female." There are exceptions: League of Women Voters is a name chosen by the mostly-female members of the League. The American Heritage Dictionary and the Random House Dictionary are not completely clear on this point, which is a sensitive point: it is hard to find neutral terms for women performing jobs once reserved for men, because these women generally insist that they belong there; and many other people—including some women—insist that they do not. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (AHD) is a dictionary of American English published by Boston publisher Houghton-Mifflin, the first edition of which appeared in 1969. ... The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged was the original name of a large American dictionary, first published in 1966, and recently renamed the Random House Websters Unabridged Dictionary. ...


The phrase the female, in the sense of the female sex or the class of all women, figures prominently in the first act of Henry V, in which Henry's bishops discuss with him the right of the French King to his throne—and Henry's right to usurp it. They conclude that the salic law cited by the French is not really French, but German, and that Henry can properly invade France, thus prolonging the Hundred Years' War. Henry V may refer to: Henry V of England Henry V of France Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor Henry V, one of the Shakespearean histories, based on Henry V of Englands life Henry V, a 1944 film adaptation of the play Henry V, a 1989 film adaptation of the... // The Salic law (Lat. ... Combatants France Castile Scotland Genoa Majorca Bohemia Crown of Aragon Brittany England Burgundy Brittany Portugal Navarre Flanders Hainaut Aquitaine Luxembourg Holy Roman Empire The Hundred Years War was a conflict between France and England, lasting 116 years from 1337 to 1453. ...


Mammalian female

The mammalian female is characterized by having two copies of the X chromosome as opposed to the male which carries only one X and one smaller Y chromosome. To compensate for the difference in size, one of the female's X chromosomes is randomly inactivated in each cell. Conversely in birds it is the female who is heterozygous and carries a Z and a W chromosome whilst the male carries two Z chromosomes. Heterozygote cells are diploid or polyploid and have different alleles at a locus (position) on homologous chromosomes. ...


The distinguishing characteristic of mammalian species is the presence of mammary glands on the female. The mammary glands are modified sweat glands that produce milk, which is used to feed the young during the period of time shortly after birth. Only mammals have the capacity to produce milk. The presence of mammary glands is most obvious on humans, due to the tendency of the female human body to store large amounts of fatty tissue near the nipples, resulting in prominent breasts. However, mammary glands are present in all mammals, although they are vestigial in male organisms. Mammary glands are the organs that, in the female mammal, produce milk for the sustenance of the young. ... A glass of cows milk. ... Kittens nursing Lactation describes the secretion of milk from the mammary glands, the process of providing that milk to the young, and the period of time that a mother lactates to feed her young. ... For other uses, see Breast (disambiguation). ... Human beings are defined variously in biological, spiritual, and cultural terms, or in combinations thereof. ... okay that is all ... A vestigial organ is an organ whose original function is considered to have been lost or reduced during evolution. ...


Mammalian females are also unique in that they all bear live young (with the exception of monotremes, which lay eggs.) However, there are non-mammalian animals (such as sharks) whose eggs hatch inside their bodies, which gives the appearance that they bear live young. Families Kollikodontidae (extinct) Ornithorhynchidae - Platypus Tachyglossidae - Echidnas Steropodontidae (extinct) Monotremes are mammals that are best known for laying eggs, instead of giving birth to live young like marsupials and placental mammals (Eutheria). ... For other uses, see Shark (disambiguation). ...


Symbol

A common symbol used to represent the female gender is ♀ (Unicode: U+2640 Alt codes: Alt+12), a circle with a small cross underneath. This symbol also represents the planet Venus and is a stylized representation of the goddess Venus' hand mirror. The Unicode Standard, Version 5. ... The term Alt codes is used to refer to a number of Unicode input methods that allow characters to be entered by typing a characters code point in concert with the Alt key. ... For other uses, see Venus (disambiguation). ... Marble Venus of the Capitoline Venus type, Roman (British Museum) Venus was a major Roman goddess principally associated with love and beauty, the rough equivalent of the Greek goddess Aphrodite. ...


Sex determination

The sex of a particular organism may be determined by a number of factors. These may be genetic or environmental, or may naturally change during the course of an organism's life. Although most species with male and female sexes have individuals that are either male or female, hermaphroditic animals have both male and female reproductive organs. A sex-determination system is a biological system that determines the development of sexual characteristics in an organism. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... For other uses, see Hermaphrodite (disambiguation). ...


Genetic determination

Most mammals, including humans, are genetically determined as such by the XY sex-determination system where males have an XY (as opposed to XX) sex chromosome. During reproduction, a male can give either an X sperm or a Y sperm, while a female can only give an X egg. A Y sperm and an X egg produce a boy, while an X sperm and an X egg produce a girl. The ZW sex-determination system, where males have a ZZ (as opposed to ZW) sex chromosome may be found in birds and some insects and other organisms. Members of Hymenoptera, such as ants and bees, are determined by haplodiploidy, where most males are haploid and females and some sterile males are diploid. Subclasses & Infraclasses Subclass †Allotheria* Subclass Prototheria Subclass Theria Infraclass †Trituberculata Infraclass Metatheria Infraclass Eutheria Mammals (class Mammalia) are warm-blooded, vertebrate animals characterized by the presence of sweat glands, including milk producing sweat glands, and by the presence of: hair, three middle ear bones used in hearing, and a neocortex... This article is about modern humans. ... The XY sex-determination system is the sex-determination system found in humans, most other mammals, some insects (Drosophila) and some plants (Ginkgo). ... A scheme of a condensed (metaphase) chromosome. ... For other uses, see Reproduction (disambiguation) Reproduction is the biological process by which new individual organisms are produced. ... For other uses, see Boy (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Girl (disambiguation). ... The ZW sex-determination system is a system that birds, some fishes, and some insects (including butterflies and moths) use to determine the sex of their offspring. ... For other uses, see Bird (disambiguation). ... Orders Subclass Apterygota Archaeognatha (bristletails) Thysanura (silverfish) Subclass Pterygota Infraclass Paleoptera (Probably paraphyletic) Ephemeroptera (mayflies) Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) Infraclass Neoptera Superorder Exopterygota Grylloblattodea (ice-crawlers) Mantophasmatodea (gladiators) Plecoptera (stoneflies) Embioptera (webspinners) Zoraptera (angel insects) Dermaptera (earwigs) Orthoptera (grasshoppers, etc) Phasmatodea (stick insects) Blattodea (cockroaches) Isoptera (termites) Mantodea (mantids) Psocoptera... Suborders Apocrita Symphyta Hymenoptera is one of the larger orders of insects, comprising the sawflies, wasps, bees, and ants. ... For other uses, see Ant (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Western honey bee and Bee (disambiguation). ... A haplodiploid species is one in which one of the sexes has haploid cells (cells containing one copy of each chromosome) and the other has diploid cells (cells containing two copies of each chromosome). ... Haploid (meaning simple in Greek) cells have only one copy of each chromosome. ... Diploid (meaning double in Greek) cells have two copies (homologs) of each chromosome (both sex- and non-sex determining chromosomes), usually one from the mother and one from the father. ...


Environmental determination

Sources

Ayers, Donald M. English Words from Latin and Greek Elements. Second Edition. 1986. University of Arizona Press. United States.


See also

Look up Female in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Female Reproductive System (2683 words)
The female needs a male to fertilize her egg, even though it is she who carries offspring through pregnancy and childbirth.
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