Androgynous lionesses in Botswana easily pass themselves off as male.
We talk a lot about transgender issues on The Luxury Spot, but they don’t normally extend to the animal kingdom (well, for this anyway). On the Moremi Game Reserve in Botswana, there is pride of female lionesses with bushy, full manes and masculine roars. They look so much like male lions that they easily fool other prides into thinking there are many more males than there actually are, which leads to a lot less competition. They’ve also all publicly endorsed Hillary as the next American president and bite the words “I’m with her” into all the safari animals they kill on a regular basis. (OK, that last part isn’t true, but I bet if they could, they would.)
Wildlife experts believe they have a genetic condition which causes the phenomenon. Masculine females typically happen when the embryo is disrupted, causing an imbalance in androgens (male hormones like testosterone). Situations like this happen in humans commonly, but are pretty rare in the animal kingdom. At least that’s what humans thought till now.
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The most amazing thing about this whole ordeal is that the lions aren’t ostracized in their communities, although they have a higher chance of being infertile. They are still treated as females, and actually help the pride expand, because the more lions a pride has, the larger territory it can control.[ via ]
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