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So. I've had a concept for a three-gendered alien species: Male, Female, and "Carrier" for lack of a better term. Male has penis, female has ovipositor, and carrier has uterus.

I feel like this is something that would have some evolutionary hurdles to even show up, but I don't know nearly enough biology to be able to take even a guess as to what.

Species isn't necessarily sentient, although it could be. Society for a sentient race would be different, but that's well beyond the scope of this question.

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marked as duplicate by Mołot, JDługosz Mar 17 '17 at 7:07

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • $\begingroup$ There seem to be several questions already, covering different aspects. Look around for more existing content then just the one chosen as the duplicate, including the auto-generated Related list. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Mar 17 '17 at 7:10
  • $\begingroup$ Also, more than 2 body plans doesn’t have to be linked to different sexes. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Mar 17 '17 at 7:13
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    $\begingroup$ This answer of mine (on one of the linked questions) is specific to @LDutch’s observation: how does the carrier contribute? $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Mar 17 '17 at 7:16
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Well, pretty clear the biggest hurdle is that there is no way for the carrier to transmit its genetic traits to the offspring. The way you describe it, it can pretty much be a vascularized nest, nothing more.

Reproduction is basically an answer to the need of DNA molecules to not decay. You need to find a way that 3 entities have to contribute with their genetic material to the offspring.

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