Why Do Female Hyenas Have Pseudo-Penises?!
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Why Do Female Hyenas Have Pseudo-Penises?!

October 21, 2019


Hi, this is Kate from MinuteEarth, and before
we start, I want to let you know that this video covers the ins and outs of hyena genitalia,
so if that’s not something you’re keen to learn about, you can check out some of
our other videos. But from the comments on our recent hyena
video, we learned that a lot of people are really curious about what, exactly, is going
on with hyena genitalia. And they’re not alone – everyone from Aristotle
to Hemingway to a host of modern scientists has been interested in why, exactly, female
spotted hyenas seem to have penises. Females urinate through these 7-inch long
phalluses, and they’re fully erectile. But since they don’t deliver sperm, they
aren’t actually penises – they’re elongated clitorises. Spotted hyenas are the only hyena species
to sport these so-called pseudopenises, and while a few other female mammals have male-like
genitalia, the spotted hyena’s is the most male-like by far – complete with a pseudoscrotum. All the female reproductive parts are there,
but the entrance is so unwieldy that females have to mate – and give birth – through what’s
essentially a penis. Mating via pseudopenis is about as awkward
as you might imagine [speak slowly]. In order to make sex possible, the female
actually has to retract her pseudopenis, so male hyenas can’t force females to have
sex. And speaking of which, we got a lot of comments
about female hyenas forcing sex on males, but there just isn’t any evidence that this
ever happens. Then, there’s giving birth, which involves
forcing a 4-pound cub through an inch-wide, 23-inch-long birth canal, which is…not easy. For first-time moms, somewhere around 60 percent
of cubs get stuck in this gauntlet and suffocate before they’re even born. And a dead cub stuck in a mom’s pseudopenis
can be fatal for her, too. A hyena’s pseudopenis actually has to rip
for her to give birth successfully, which leaves behind a stretchy patch that does make
birth easier the next time. In our earlier video, we talked about why
it sucks to be a male hyena, but there’s also a lot that sucks about being a female
hyena. So why do they have such incredibly unwieldy
genitalia? Is fending off male suitors so critical that
pseudopenises evolved as protection? Doubtful – females are dominant enough to
keep suitors in check without any help. Are female hyenas trying to confuse others
into thinking they’re males? Probably not – even experienced humans can
tell what’s pseudo and what’s not, and hyenas have lots of other ways of distinguishing
females from males. So far, we just don’t have a convincing
explanation for why nature has also given female hyenas the shaft. There’s now a laughably easy way for you
to raise money for charity. Click on the link in the description and download
the web browser extension from Tab for a Cause, our sponsor for this video. Every time you open a new tab, Tab for a Cause
will make a tiny donation on your behalf to a charity like Action Against Hunger, which
is committed to helping malnourished children. If you’re like me and get lost in a sea
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Only registered users can comment.

  1. Female hyenas naturally produce more testosterone than the typical female mammal would. That's why they have a penis-like organ. If cattle were any different than they are now, you'd probably see cows with fake penises.

  2. This was an odd video to watch for someone with penis envy. I'm not entirely sure I'd want the pleasure of having a pseudopenis if I have to give birth through it too. It's an interesting conundrum. Anyway it was very informative, thanks

  3. i have always wondered that! this explains how gay & bisexual men have sex with each other! how interesting! (jag skämtar bara)

  4. I will never eat hot dogs again…. 😩😫😤😑😐😦😮😲 but very good video good job ! 👍👍👍👍

  5. I think they evolved that way to prevent infection or maybe they start of as Male in the womb.
    I mean Male humans too starts of being female which is why the have nipples

  6. Why is mad faced genitalia hyena are a male is NOT a female's penis Pseudo Penis ??? so bad funny ! 😁😁😁😁😁😁😂😂😂😂😂😂 2:35

  7. American scientist: observing hyenas mating.

    Isaac Island soldiers: okay we're going to infiltrate this room

    One random Soldier: but you know are we going to enter the scientists room a normal way

    Isaac Island general: no we're going to do this the hard way Jerry

    Jerry:uh oh

    Isaac Island Soldiers: blows down door and kills all the scientist and then kill the hyenas then he puts it on the newspaper saying the meeting is a terrible thing so if you're an animal don't do it or we're going to kill you

  8. Me: Ah females don't have balls, that's how we can tell them apart
    Video: here's a pair of female balls
    Me: ….oh…okay never mind

  9. its not female s scientists is stupid a living thing that has penis is a male a living thing that has vagina is a female how did a scientist come up that its a female?

  10. "Are female hyenas trying to confused others into thinking they're Groucho Marx? Probably not."
    That was pretty adorable. Hyenas are even cuter with glasses, but I'm not going to try putting them on if I ever meet a hyena.

  11. Ugh!!! People are so fucking stupid… Females do not rape males (Do not confuse mounting with rape or sex), as they cannot. Females have what's called an enlarged clitoris, therefore it is a clitoris, not a penis, pseudo penis is an incorrect word people just happen to use, which means "fake penis", but otherwise it's just a clitoris, that being said, it is unable to get erect, and therefore it cannot be shoved into anything… Fuckin' idiots.

  12. My joke: EMPOWERMENT GOING WRONG, GONE SEXUAL, NO CLICKBAIT… at 3 am
    My serious comment: Looks like a annomaly for me… females aren't supposed to HAVE penises ( or pseudo ones ). May have something to do with hormones.

  13. Wait what?…..hold on…..I'll be right back…….*putting down my phone* walks all the way down the hall about 5 seconds later WHAT THE FUCK!!!!!!! in tourettes guys voice

  14. Female spotted hyenas even make more testosterone than the males do
    Infact the highest ranked Male makes more estrogen than the alpha female

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