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The Birds & Bees & Hermaphrodites & Transvestites?!? The Fascinating World of Animal Breeding

February 11 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

$5 – $8

Dating, Mating & Replicating – Learn about the extraordinary variety of mating behavior and reproduction possibilities in the animal kingdom.

If you think the human mating scene that ranges from arranged marriages to Tinder & Ok Cupid apps is complicated, wait till you learn about dating, mating, & replicating in animals!  The Population Management Center (PMC) based at Lincoln Park Zoo makes countless recommendations for breeding and transfers of animals in zoos & aquariums all over North America. But just because they recommend a pair to breed, doesn’t mean that they will.

In this talk, population biologist John Andrews will discuss the amazing diversity of biology and behavior among animals making that special connection.  John will explain the core science behind population management in zoos & aquariums and what “family planning” means when talking about elephants, beetles, whales, and more. This talk will highlight several examples of behavioral and reproductive biology that do not match what we understand as the typical binary male/female system, including examples of homosexual behaviors, transvestism, hermaphroditism, parthenogenesis, and transsexualism among others in zoo and aquarium animals.

There will be plenty of time for your questions.  Join us for what will certainly be a fascinating program! 

Doors open at 6:30pm; program begins at 7pm.

Tickets are only $5 in advance; available here.

John Andrews is a population biologist at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo’s Population Management Center (PMC) where his work benefits population management programs for accredited zoos around the country.

John has a B.S. from the University of Florida and a master’s in natural resources and environmental sciences from the University of Illinois. His thesis focused on avian ecology questions concerning how habitat selection behaviors in declining grassland birds are influenced by information use in restored grassland habitats in central Illinois. He later went on to work on various avian research projects in Panama, Australia and most recently back in Illinois with the Illinois Natural History Survey studying haemoparasites in avian populations.


February 11
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
$5 – $8


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55 E. Jackson Blvd. 6th Floor
Chicago, IL 60604 United States
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Illinois Science Council