7 min read

Grrrl Power: 9 Badass Females In The Animal Kingdom

<p>Flickr: DaugaardDK</p>

Despite what some may think, there are animals in the wild who live in quite progressive ways -- especially lady animals. Here are a few species whose females are especially badass:

1. Octopi don't think that their date and their dinner are mutually exclusive. It is not uncommon for a female octopus to strangle her mate once the deed is done. In one case, the lady octopus actually dragged her former paramour off to her den to feast upon him after asphyxiating him with her tentacles.

2. Female lions are the ones bringing home the bacon. Lionesses do the majority of hunting for their pride, as they are much more adept at hunting than the male lions. And occasionally, they won't even share their bounty with the males. The typical lion family is always centered around a group of related females.

Flickr: Anna

3. Bonobos are sexually liberated. Female bonobos are at the top of their group's social pyramid, making their units matriarchal societies. The male offspring of the higher ranking females become leaders among the male in the social group, though they never usurp their mothers' positions. Female bonobos are also quite sexually liberated, as bonobos are one of the few species that engage in sex for *ahem* non-reproductive reasons. They copulate with multiple partners, of both genders.

4. Barbary macaques fake it. Female Barbary macaques are extremely vocal during copulation, for a surprising reason: they are looking to attract other males to mate with. By copulating with multiple mates, the lady macaque decreases the likelihood of paternal infanticide, as the males cannot tell which babies are theirs. This increased vocalization possibly has another aim: to make her mate climax more quickly. Either way, the female macaques take control of the reproductive process.

Flickr: Tambako the Jaguar

5. Komodo dragons are I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T. These liberated lizards literally do not need a mate to procreate. There have been several recorded cases where female Komodo dragons have reproduced without mating. These females' eggs were developing without fertilization -- which is a process referred to as "parthenogenesis."

6. Ducks have safeguards against forceful copulation. Female ducks have clockwise-spiraled vaginas, with sharp twists and turns. Since male ducks have counter-clockwise spiraled penises, it was suspected that the evolutionary purpose of the female duck's venereal labyrinth was to prevent insemination from unwanted suitors. Students at Yale tested this suspicion and confirmed that female ducks can indeed block unwanted penetration.

Flickr: David Tomic

7. Female honey bees call all the shots. The honey bee caste system is extremely matriarchal, with the queen and worker bees all being female. The hive is very female-centric, as the queen is chosen and raised by the worker bees. The males only exist for sexual reproduction purposes, and once they have mated with the queen they die. The kicker? Male bees are actually referred to as "drones."

8. Topi antelopes aren't afraid of being dominant. It is rare that the females in the species have a more ravenous sexual appetite than the males, but that is exactly the case when it comes to the Topi antelopes. Topi antelope females are only fertile one day per year, and during that 24-hour period they essentially hound the male antelopes to the point of exhaustion. These antelopes exhibit sexual behavior that is counter-stereotypical in that the females are the aggressors and the males tend to be more stand-offish.

9. Female anglerfish wear the pants in the relationship. In many species of ceratioid anglerfish, it is common for the (much smaller) male to attach himself to the lady anglerfish and proceed to atrophy until he is essentially a parasite with male reproductive organs, available to the female whenever fertilization is needed. A male anglerfish will not sexually mature until he finds a female to parasitize, and if he does not find one he will die...
Really gives new meaning to the term "clingy," doesn't it?


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