Why It Sucks to Be a Male Hyena

Why It Sucks to Be a Male Hyena

Thanks to spotted hyenas’ unusual social structure, males experience a tough life of solitude, harassment, and deprivation.

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If you want to learn more about this topic, start your googling with these keywords:
Sex role reversed species: a species in which males and females exhibit roles other than what might be expected based on other aspects of their biology and mating systems

Credits (and Twitter handles):
Script Writer: Kate Yoshida (@KateYoshida)
Script Editor: Emily Elert (@eelert)
Video Illustrator: Ever Salazar (@eversalazar)
Video Director: Kate Yoshida (@KateYoshida)
Video Narrator: Kate Yoshida (@KateYoshida)
With Contributions From: Henry Reich, Alex Reich, Peter Reich, David Goldenberg
Music by: Nathaniel Schroeder: http://www.soundcloud.com/drschroeder

Video Credits: Hyenas feeding – Kate Yoshida
Image Credits: Scarface – Kate Yoshida


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If you liked this week’s video, we think you might also like:
A blog by researchers currently studying spotted hyenas in Kenya’s Masai Mara: http://msuhyenas.blogspot.com/



Chepko-Sade, B. D. & Z. T. Halpin. 1987. Mammalian dispersal patterns: the effects of social stucture on population genetics. University of Chicago Press. Chicago, Illinois.

Holekamp, K.E. & Smale, L. (2000) Feisty females and meek males: reproductive strategies in the spotted hyena. In Reproduction in Context. K. Wallen and J. Schneider (Eds). MIT Press. Cambridge. MA. Pp. 257-285.

Kruuk H. 1972. The spotted hyena: a study of predation and social behavior. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Smale, L., Nunes, S., and Holekamp, K.E. (1997) Sexually dimorphic dispersal in mammals: patterns, causes and consequences. Advances in the Study of Behavior 26: 181-250.

Strauss, E., February 2017, personal communication.

Turner, J., June 2017, personal communication.

Van Horn, R.C., McElhinny, T.L. & Holekamp, K. E. (2003) Age estimation and dispersal in the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta). Journal of Mammalogy 84: 1019-1030.

Watts, H. E. & Holekamp, K. E. (2007) Hyena societies. Current Biology 17: R657-R660.

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20 Responses

  1. Vietnam Mapper says:

    “That sucks”, said Hyena male#1
    “This sucks”, said Hyena male#2

  2. I Dont Care Enough To Write A Name says:

    Wtf am I doing watching a video about being a male hyena.

  3. PreheatedCandy says:

    Are you sure these aren’t humans too?
    We have to leave our families to prevent inbreeding and we go on a long and lonely journey only to end up having to listen to our wives every wish

  4. John Smith says:

    Because of Hyena feminism.

  5. MadGamer Leight says:

    Scarface? He should be named Harry Potter…

  6. Oscar Loch says:

    If I had a penny for every gender I would have 1 penny because men are property

  7. [Yoshikage_Kira] says:

    Look at that male privilage

  8. Hello :D says:

    Now thats just sad for male hyenas.

  9. Bruh says:

    Hoo boy.
    This is gonna be a lovely commen section. Mature. Thoughtful. Non-accusatory from either side. S’all gonna be great.
    S’gonna be fuckin dandy.

  10. puddingninja says:

    you done goofed, you forgot to mention the female pseudo penis and how she rapes the males

  11. Jerry Rupprecht says:

    Male hyenas should have their own feminist uprising. Meminist uprising? Idk

  12. Arxielle says:

    Didn’t even have to wait for feminism jokes in the comment section. Goddamn.

  13. ganderson says:

    because females have a bigger penis

  14. kataisa3 says:

    This is nothing. Do a web search for “How The Male Angler Fish Gets Completely Screwed” by the oatmeal.

  15. Michael Tan says:

    So that’s why the lead hyena in lion king is a girl, mind blown

  16. AstOnokGaming says:

    is this the future feminists want

  17. Kelvin Lee says:

    Stop here. The comments are horrible.

  18. WajiRock says:

    I say we mount laser cannons to the male hyenas and help them rise against their oppressors!

  19. Old Toby says:

    Female hyenas have 6x the testosterone of males, and even have fake ‘penises’ that can get erect when they are excited. Sucks to be them though as they need to give birth through those ‘penises’…

  20. Consolized says:

    So are the females bigger due to how Hyenas evolved, or because they generally get better food than the males? This was left unclear. Also, how do females choose a mate? Highest ranking make or do they fight it out?

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