Therin of Andor wrote:
it might even be possible for an XZ child to have gotten his X from his XW parent.
I'm not a big fan of the 4 gendered idea. It seemed a bit contrived to me.
IIRC, we noticed in the previous long discussion that the Andorian zhavey
(birth mother) doesn't actually contribute
Which is a horribly unlikely turn of events, given that the zhen is disincentivized so severely. I mean, Andorians are supposed to be eusocial but seem to lack any of the hallmarks of eusociality or semi-eusociality. I mean, they:
1)Have no sister-relatedness to the breeding group, and hence are programmed to care about a child they are not at all related to;
2)Do not utilize an r-strategy for breeding and large numbers of sterile workers that permit maximum breeding efficiency; and
3)Do not go through periods of transitory sterility, with windows of fertility that permit them to carry on their genetic information.
Thus zhens are disincentivized from ever existing, because they're so maladaptive.
So personally, I ignore that part. Four sexes are fine, eusociality--especially given everything else--is pretty bogus.
(Less difficult, but it's also hard to square Talas' tits with the crypto-marsupial nursing mechanism.)