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April 27, 2006

Dirty, Filthy Hyena Whores

Weird animal sex stuff.

It's interesting that female hyenas are the more musclular and powerful, and socially dominent, gender.

It's even more interesting that alpha females give out androgenizing pheremones to make their offspring tougher, bigger, and more aggressive. A case of social status of the parent directly impacting the health, size, competitiveness, and competence of the children, which has somewhat sad implications for humanity, if such an effect is present in our species as well. (Which I bet it does.)

And then the article gets weird. So weird it gets put past the jump.


But providing the extra hormones takes a toll on the mother. The dose of androgen that she received from her own alpha mother damages her ovaries, making it difficult to conceive.

It also causes female reproductive organs to grow. A lot. Her clitoris, which contains the birthing canal, protrudes 7 inches from her body.

"Imagine giving birth through a penis," said study co-author Kay Holekamp of Michigan State University. "It's really weird genitalia, but it seems to work. Although giving birth through a 'penis' isn't a trivial problem."

The clitoris' birth canal is only an inch in diameter, and the tissue often tears as a 2-pound cub squeezes through the narrow opening. The rip can be fatal, as evidenced by the high death rate for first-time mothers.

Because of the female's awkward genitalia, successful mating for hyenas is tricky to pull off. It takes careful positioning for the male to crouch behind her and somehow get his penis to point up and backwards to enter her clitoris.

In related news, Mike's pants just got uncomfortably tight.

Thanks to SWOOD.

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posted by Ace at 02:21 PM

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