Friday, October 12, 2012

Maned Lionesses

In Botswana‘s Okavango Delta, some lionesses have manes. This seems to be the result of a genetic flaw common in that population, that leads the mother to produce too many masculine hormones during pregnancy. On the other hand the masculanized lionesses have certain advantages, viz., because they look like males they are very scary to hyenas and leopards, but since they are female they pose no threat to the pride's males and so can hang around with their sisters, helping to guard the young. Most may be sterile.

I wonder if the other females tease them behind their backs?

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