One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An organ producing both ova and spermatozoa, especially in some gastropod molluscs.
- ‘Ordinarily, these fish develop ovotestes, gonads that make both eggs and sperm.’
- ‘Fish were scored as intersexes when at least one of the gonads was an ovotestis or when one ovary and one testis were observed simultaneously.’
- ‘Some intersexed people have XX chromosomes everywhere except the ovotestes, which have XY chromosomes, or vice versa.’
- ‘When not gravid, eggs lining the ovotestes are readily seen through the carapace.’
- ‘Today, ‘true hermaphroditism’ - cases in which an individual has one or more ovotestes - is considered ‘extremely rare’, but it is hard to know how many cases go undiagnosed.’
Late 19th century: from ovum + testis.
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