Sex & Relationships

The Genderfluid Lioness Who Looks and Acts Like a Male

Genderfluidity is not unique to humans; it has found its way into the animal kingdom.

Photo Credit: Twitter

Genderfluidity is in full swing in the human world. Now scientists have recently discovered it also exists in the animal kingdom.

Mmamoriri, an African lioness scientists began studying in 2012, lives on the plains of the Okavango Delta in Botswana, southern Africa. Unlike other females in the pride, she sports a mane and has developed a deeper and more masculine roar. Mmamoriri isn’t alone. Scientists believe she is one of five lions in the area who has naturally adopted male characteristics in order to survive. The “evolutionary twist” may have come about in order to help protect prides in the event that the alpha male dies.

Scientists claim the phenomenon will be passed down to the next generation, though Mmamoriri herself is thought to be infertile. Her dark mane seems to be indicative of an especially high level of testosterone, researcher Robynne Kotzee writes in Africa Geographic.

Mmamoriri is featured in the new BBC documentary, “The World’s Sneakiest Animals.”

Other animals that have adapted their appearances in order to survive include male deer who don’t grow antlers and cuttlefish who can change color and shed skin to disguise themselves.

Carrie Weisman is a writer focusing on sex, relationships and culture. 

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