Frequently Asked Questions: Reproduction

Q. How many eggs can a fly lay at a time? How often does a female lay the eggs?
A. A housefly lays about 100 eggs every two weeks.

Q. Are there any male animals that become pregnant?
A. There is a fish called a seahorse that makes sperm and is therefore regarded as male. However, the male seahorse also develops a pouch on its belly a few days before mating with a female. The female squirts eggs into the pouch and the male incubates in the pouch for two weeks.

Q. Do you need a rooster in a hen-house to get eggs?
A. No. Many of the eggs we purchase from the local supermarket are unfertilised eggs, that is, eggs laid by female chickens that have not mated with a male rooster. Unfertilised eggs will never grow into chickens.
If a chicken farmer wants to breed chickens, a male rooster must mate with a female hen to make fertilised eggs. These will then grow into chickens if they are looked after.

Q. Does it hurt when a baby's umbilical cord is cut after birth?
A. No. There are no nerve receptors to sense pain in the umbilical cord. Nor should there be much bleeding because the blood flow ceases in the cord before birth because the baby will have its own functioning blood supply.

Q. What would happen if a marine sponge was sliced into pieces by a boat's propeller?
A. Sponges reproduce asexually. Each fragment of the sponge will grow into a new organism.

Q. When was the first 'test-tube' baby born?
A. The first 'test-tube' baby born was Louise Brown in 1978.

Q. What causes 'innie' and 'outie' belly buttons?
A. The difference between an 'innie' and an 'outie' belly button or navel depends on the point at which the umbilical cord was cut just after birth.