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Hi, this is Kate from MinuteEarth, and before we start, I want to let you know that this
video covers the ins and outs of hyena genitalia, so if that's not something you're keen
to learn about, you can check out some of our other videos.
But from the comments on our recent hyena video, we learned that a lot of people are
really curious about what, exactly, is going on with hyena genitalia.
And they're not alone - everyone from Aristotle to Hemingway to a host of modern scientists
has been interested in why, exactly, female spotted hyenas seem to have penises.
Females urinate through these 7-inch long phalluses, and they're fully erectile.
But since they don't deliver sperm, they aren't actually penises - they're elongated
clitorises.
Spotted hyenas are the only hyena species to sport these so-called pseudopenises, and
while a few other female mammals have male-like genitalia, the spotted hyena's is the most
male-like by far - complete with a pseudoscrotum.
All the female reproductive parts are there, but the entrance is so unwieldy that females
have to mate - and give birth - through what's essentially a penis.
Mating via pseudopenis is about as awkward as you might imagine [speak slowly].
In order to make sex possible, the female actually has to retract her pseudopenis, so
male hyenas can't force females to have sex.
And speaking of which, we got a lot of comments about female hyenas forcing sex on males,
but there just isn't any evidence that this ever happens.
Then, there's giving birth, which involves forcing a 4-pound cub through an inch-wide,
23-inch-long birth canal, which is...not easy.
For first-time moms, somewhere around 60 percent of cubs get stuck in this gauntlet and suffocate
before they're even born.
And a dead cub stuck in a mom's pseudopenis can be fatal for her, too.
A hyena's pseudopenis actually has to rip for her to give birth successfully, which
leaves behind a stretchy patch that does make birth easier the next time.
In our earlier video, we talked about why it sucks to be a male hyena, but there's
also a lot that sucks about being a female hyena.
So why do they have such incredibly unwieldy genitalia?
Is fending off male suitors so critical that pseudopenises evolved as protection?
Doubtful - females are dominant enough to keep suitors in check without any help.
Are female hyenas trying to confuse others into thinking they're males?
Probably not - even experienced humans can tell what's pseudo and what's not, and
hyenas have lots of other ways of distinguishing females from males.
So far, we just don't have a convincing explanation for why nature has also given
female hyenas the shaft.
There's now a laughably easy way for you to raise money for charity.
Click on the link in the description and download the web browser extension from Tab for a Cause,
our sponsor for this video.
Every time you open a new tab, Tab for a Cause will make a tiny donation on your behalf to
a charity like Action Against Hunger, which is committed to helping malnourished children.
If you're like me and get lost in a sea of browser tabs every day, those microdonations
add up; tabbers have already raised $400,000 dollars just by surfing the web.
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動物界讓你跌破眼鏡:雌性斑點鬣狗的假陰莖! (Why Do Female Hyenas Have Pseudo-Penises?!)

945 分類 收藏
April Lu 發佈於 2018 年 8 月 13 日    April Lu 翻譯    Evangeline 審核
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