Female hyenas wear the pants in the family. They’re bigger and stronger than the males. And definitely much more aggressive. Heck, they even got balls. Really.

A female hyena has a pseudopenis, basically an enlarged clitoris, that they can erect at will. To mate, the meeker male has to insert his penis into her pseudopenis. That’s difficult for the males, but still nothing compared to the female having to give birth through a penis!

Female Hyena has pseudo-penis


Biologist Laurence Frank describes something else that is strange about hyenas – the way they say hello to each other:

After being separated for a few hours, spotted hyenas engage in “greeting” displays that entail lifting their legs and exposing their erect pseudopenises for inspection. Subordinate females often initiate greetings and this is the only known caseĀ of an erection being a submissive gesture. “This unusual display is not without its risks [because] each hyena puts its reproductive organs in immediate proximity to very powerful jaws,” says Frank. “On the rare occasions when the aggression escalates to fighting, the resulting damage may be severe enough to destroy or seriously compromise the reproductive competence of the injured party.”

Jawad Ahmad is veterinary graduate from Asia's best veterinary university, University Of Veterinary And Animal Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan. He loves to blog and work as a freelance writer for biosciences niche. He joined "Veterinary Hub" in June 2013 as an author. He is currently a post-graduate student in Department of Pathology, University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Lahore.