Monday 21 March 2016

Matriarchal Animals & Their Culture

We are often told that all of nature is patriarchal and that is how things should be naturally. Well that isn't so.

Here is a list of 9 strong matriarchal animals.

© Hans Hillewaert 
1. Bonobo

Bonobos, whose closest genetic cousin is, surprisingly, the human race, live in a society surprisingly dominated by females, who use gal-pal alliances to exert power. While some critics still dismiss the bonobo matriarchy as a fluke or feminist delusion, others counter with theory and evidence that show how female bonding works to control individual males despite the males' slightly larger size. Unlike abused loner chimp females, it's likely that the bonobo gal gang prevents males from killing the babies of rival males (as other apes do) and allows females to choose their own mates and grab the best food. In the wild, females also hunt and distribute meat, once considered exclusively a male preserve.

© Muhammad Mahdi Karim
2. Elephants

Elephants form deep family bonds and live in tight matriarchal family groups of related females called a herd. The herd is led by the oldest and often largest female in the herd, called a matriarch. Herds consist of 8-100 individuals depending on terrain and family size. When a calf is born, it is raised and protected by the whole matriarchal herd. Males leave the family unit between the ages of 12-15 and may lead solitary lives or live temporarily with other males.

© Muhammad Mahdi Karim
3. Bees

The social structure of a bee hive is that of a matriarchal family headed by a queen. The queen has a potential life span of three years and during this time may continually lay eggs thereby establishing and maintaining a total colony population of approximately twenty five thousand bees. Almost 95% of the queens offspring are what are referred to as worker bees, with the remaining 5% developing into drones. Bee's have always been associated with the Goddess, The Anatolian Goddess is often shown wearing a beehive as a tiara, most frequently at Hacilar. Of all the insects represented in the ancient world, bees are foremost in ritual and symbolic meaning. The Goddess's tiara announces her status as a queen bee and suggests that she streams with honey, a much-revered substance in ancient times.

© Robert Pittman
4. Orcas

Orca pods are based on the lineage of the mother (mothers, daughters, and sons form groups); the dolphins live and travel with their mothers even after they are full-grown, forming strongly matriarchal dolphin societies.

© Falense
5. Lions

Lions live in a matriarchal society. The lionesses work together to hunt and rear the cubs. This allows them all to get the most from their energy, keeping them healthier and safer. Being smaller and lighter than males, lionesses are more agile and faster. During hunting, smaller females chase the prey towards the centre. The larger and heavier lionesses ambush or capture the prey. Lionesses are versatile and can switch hunting jobs depending on which females are hunting that day and what kind of prey it is. Lions have also been strongly associated with the Goddess since ancient times.

© AindriúH

6. Spotted Hyenas

Female spotted hyenas are larger and more aggressive than males, and it’s the females that dominate their social groups (each of which may have up to 60 members). The female hyena’s genitals even resemble the male genitals, making it difficult to differentiate between the sexes.

7. Mole Rats
© Sharry Goldman

Mole rat colonies, which may have 20 to 300 members, are lead by a dominant female or “mole rat queen.” The queen chooses the largest, toughest males to mate with several times a year and may deliver up to seven offspring every two months.

© Sharp Photography
8. Meerkats

Meerkats live in underground burrows in groups of two or three families, called mobs. Each mob is lead by a dominant female, which leads the group in foraging trips, finding new burrows, and settling disputes with other meerkat mobs.

9. Ants
© Stephen Ausmus

Similar to bees, ants live in colonies led by a single queen, who focuses on mating and breeding to build the colony while the others tend to the work. If population size is a measure of success, then ants are the most successful creatures on the planet. If all of the ants in the world came together in one big mass, they would weigh more than the combined weight of the entire human population on Earth.

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