January 23, 2016

The gender-bending lioness.

25 comments:

Sal said...

Similar mutations also appear in humans.

David Begley said...

Nature. Not nurture.

The science is settled.

Quaestor said...

With more males [including pseudo-males] the pride can defend a larger territory.

Perhaps. But do these butch lionesses reproduce like their sisters? Probably not. The advantage of having more apparent males prowling the boundaries of the territory may be more than offset by the reduction of reproductive capacity.

Adamsunderground said...

Oh, what the lengths a pledge drive will go. Wait until Ziggy Snaggletooth's body has grown cold in the grave before you appropriate it, PBS!

n.n said...

The exception, not the rule, therefore abnormal, which may or may not be tolerated in a population. The criteria for tolerance is clearly more expansive than normalization, even in the animal kingdom.

R. Chatt said...

We don't have enough masculine men so women are born who resemble masculine men? LOL, I guess that's not the PC conclusion here. I don't think anyone really knows why nature does what it "do."

hombre said...

So, even lions can be aberrational. How refreshing.

madAsHell said...

I'm not buying the larger territory argument. Male lions defend against nomad male lions trying to take over the pride. Female lions are all sisters, and defend against unrelated female lions attempting to join the pride. I'm not aware that they defend territory.

The female lions do most (all?) of the hunting, and the males scavenge from the female kills. I'll guess the he-she animal is not fertile. Does it hunt? If it doesn't hunt, and doesn't procreate, then it is a burden on the pride. We shouldn't attempt to find value in what is clearly a genetic mistake.

oh, yeah....word for the day: retromingency. I'm sure Lazlo can riff off that!!

Skeptical Voter said...

Ol Laslo can be counted on to do a riff on the lesbian lioness. Of course if she's sterile she's no more unusual than a female mule.

whitney said...

"The pride still treats her like a lioness"
That pride is in trouble now. Shes going to sue to be called 'He' and to use the men's bathroom

Anglelyne said...

Quaestor: Perhaps. But do these butch lionesses reproduce like their sisters? Probably not. The advantage of having more apparent males prowling the boundaries of the territory may be more than offset by the reduction of reproductive capacity.

Shush. The important thing is to promote the line that gender is fluid, and that masculinized females (or feminized males) aren't (biologically malapdaptive) anomalies but "normal". (Pay no attention to the statistical reality and import of "norm".)

It's depressing to see a prestige scientific organ, by (annoying, boring, dragged-out) pacing and narration style, try to imply something that isn't there. Everybody's gone full-tabloid, I guess. There are freaks of nature? Who knew?

traditionalguy said...

There are masculine females and there are feminine males among Homo Sapiens. It makes life more interesting that there are so many different types. Only a bad Religion wants Life to be boring.

Fernandinande said...

http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2012/10/09/weird-wild-rare-maned-lionesses-explained/
"Though uncommon, maned lionesses have been regularly sighted in the Mombo area of Botswana‘s Okavango Delta (including the individual pictured below), where the lion population may carry a genetic disposition toward the phenomenon, according to Luke Hunter, president of the big-cat conservation group Panthera, which collaborates with National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative. (The Society owns National Geographic News.)

Hunter said it’s possible that maned lionesses in Mombo are related—including a safari favorite named Martina, which disappeared in 2002. (Learn more about how you can see the maned lionesses at Mombo Camp.)"

rehajm said...
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chickelit said...

I guess the human parallel is that with Caitlyn Jenner taking up more and more "female" space, males can dominate even more social media.

Ambrose said...

I was once in a public men's room and a lioness walk in. At first I thought, this is not good. But then I realized that this lioness identified as a male. Who was i to judge? Luckily, she ate the guy next to me.

Fritz said...

But what's the point?

R. Chatt said...

PS Maybe "God" is sending the human race some signals that we humans while being sexual animals are actually foremost spiritual beings, and our obsessive identification with our sexual identities and genders is misguided and misleading us. Maybe that is keeping us from evolving as a species in our understanding of who we are and why we are here. Some people who believe in God think that everything that could be revealed was already revealed a long time ago. I happen to believe that revelation and evolution are ongoing.

SOJO said...
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David said...

Lion. Lioness. Either one is going to reach in and grab you if you leave the window down on your land rover, lady. And their aggression is not mini.

Gahrie said...

I assume she wants to use the male lions' bathroom?

LordSomber said...

Is there an equivalent of the "cat lady" archetype in the feline realm?
Maybe they collect humans
Or drag in prey

There is something recursively meta about this

rehajm said...

Though uncommon, maned lionesses have been regularly sighted in the Mombo area of Botswana‘s Okavango Delta...including a safari favorite named Martina, which disappeared in 2002.

I was at Mombo in 2002 and we did see a young female lion with a developing mane. Never saw Martina but there was much discussion and childish giggles about her name (see what they did there?) Apparently Martina was very popular with the mating minded males.

JCC said...

Well, apparently the maned females do reproduce, and I guess that also means there is a benefit - or at least, no disadvantage - to the DNA or the change would disappear. So within the biosphere where this is occurring, it's probably helpful in some fashion. So says the theory.

Maybe the male lions are digging the novelty.

Steve said...

I made a profile on Match.com once. It was written from the standpoint of my mother exclaiming my virtues. I thought it was funny because of course a guy's mom would have good things to say about her son. It didn't get much response.

Either women don't have a sense of humor or they think an adult man using his mom for self promotion is creepy.