Friday Ephemera
Elsewhere (138)



It's the little things that get overlooked.


What's the Japanese for 'derp'?


Curious fact about hyena - the females have a greatly enlarged clitoris that means they can often be mistaken for males. They have matriarchal societies too.

They are the radfems of the animal world!


the females have a greatly enlarged clitoris that means they can often be mistaken for males.

I, for one, have learned something today.

Pete of Perth

From the country which brought you BabyMetal...

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Oh, you Japanese, you! Never change!


From the country which brought you BabyMetal...

Published on Feb 25, 2014

. . . .

All comments (30,720)

. . . So I haven't exactly studied the Guardian comments sections to see how much turns up among the censoring that I keep reading of, but I suspect a contrasting assessment of anemic might apply . . .

R. Sherman


I'm going to file that factual tidbit away, to use the next time the conversation at a cocktail party is starting to lag. Thank you.


I live to serve... ;)


When this fine day started I had no idea that I’d soon be Googling “enlarged hyena clitoris.” And being unnerved by the results.


So, kind of like an East German woman gymnast?


Why would anyone want to breed hyenas? They are vile creatures; and I speak from experience, having confronted them in the bush.


In ancient times, they thought that hyenas could actually change sex. Here's a veritable font of useless but fascinating information on the subject.

E.g., Pliny the Elder wrote: "Hyenas are believed to become male and female in alternate years".

It is also said, of the hyena: "It is fond of going where it can hear the voices of men; it haunts the folds of shepherds, and by listening attentively, learns to imitate the human voice, so that it can call a man at night, and devour him. It also imitates human groanings; and alluring them by its false sighs, devours the dogs, who, when they are hunting it, if they come within its shadow, lose their voice, and cannot bark."

Regularly changes sex, otherwise behaves like some sort of nightmarish alien monster. Modern hyenas are disappointingly tame by comparison, it seems.


Why are they trying to breed Hyenas in the first place? It's not like the nasty critters are in short supply.


Kami and Kamutori ? I would have gone for Julian and Sandy.


So hyenas come from Thailand, right?

Watcher In The Dark

IIRC there is an episode in "Parks And Recreation" where the hapless Amy Poehler enthusiastically leads a 'program' to oversee the mating two penguins at Pawnee Zoo, who turn out to be both male.

Life imitating art, hey?


Introducing a female hyena isn't going to help, now that they've got the two males wearing fabulous pants.


"In contrast to other female mammals, including female striped and brown hyenas, the female spotted hyena has no external vaginal opening. Instead, the female’s clitoris is greatly elongated to form a fully erectile “pseudopenis” that is nearly indistinguishable from the male’s phallus. The phalluses on both male and female spotted hyenas are the same length, and differ only in the shape of the tip, which is blunt in the female but pointed in the male.

Astonishingly, the female spotted hyena urinates, copulates and gives birth through her pseudopenis. When she gives birth to her first litter, the posterior surface of the female’s pseudopenis tears and leaves a long patch of bright pink scar tissue. Although we hyena-watchers find this very handy for determining whether a female has ever borne a litter, the tearing must hurt like the devil. In addition to having a fully erectile pseudopenis, the female has vaginal labia that are folded over and filled with fat and connective tissue to form a structure that looks remarkably like the male’s scrotal sac. When I examined the “scrotal sac” of Dionysus this week, the masses of fat and connective tissue were so turgid that I thought I was palpating real testes. Therefore I initially declared this animal to be a male. However, several minutes later I was forced to change my mind."

Zoologist Kay must be a great deal of fun at cocktail parties.


If i recall that article you linked to awhile back about turtle penis/whale vagina did discuss how some females in nature who get raped a lot (or have access to the lifetime channel) develop ambiguous gender traits. Probably to both get raped less and have more control over which critters seed gets the prize.

Hyenas seem rapey and this pseudo penis sorta fits that thesis, so lets call this science settled and print it. Then we can use that to start a national dialogue re the root cause of Birkenstock and socks.


Birkensocks party.


lol nice!

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