ZurichZurich Zoo takes in female hyenas with “pseudopenis”.
It looks scary, is not considered a sneaky scavenger and has a good reputation: the hyena. Zoo Zurich now wants to break with these prejudices.
Of the Zurich Zoo Wants to dispel the misconception that hyenas are cowardly and sneaky scavengers. In reality, the spotted hyena has great talent for hunting and also a fascinating social system, the zoo reported on Wednesday.
The females dominated the group. Not only do they act very masculine, they even have a “pseudopenis” which they probably use in group communication to reduce aggression.
It is eaten strongly according to hierarchy
Of the zoo calculates spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) since 2020. The five-year-old female Tesi is smaller than her eight-year-old companion Masangao. But they already show dominant behavior.
According to the zoo, spotted hyenas are adept at hunting and kill 60 to 95 percent of their food themselves. They also eat carrion. Their diet is comparable to that of lions. The animals reached a speed of 55 kilometers per hour when hunting. When the prey IS taken, feed is strongly hierarchical: high-ranking females and their young go first, then lower-ranking females, and finally males.
According to the zoo, the “pseudopenis” of the females is an enlarged clitoris. When erect, it can hardly be distinguished from a male’s penis. The exact function is still under investigation.
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