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13 Times Nature Didn’t Give A Damn About Your Dumb-Ass Patriarchy

These animals prove that patriarchy is not a universal part of the natural world.

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1. These female lemurs who aren't taking any shit.

BBC / Via

Nearly all lemurs live in systems that put females in charge. With these primates, females are oftentimes bigger, pick their mates, and get preferential access to food and territory.

3. These large and in-charge female hyenas with serious swagger.

National Geographic / Via

Female spotted hyenas call the shots. They are in charge of their social groups, are more aggressive than males, and they choose their mate. Sidenote: They also have a huge clitoris and they aren't shy about wagin' it around, either.


4. These staunchly matriarchal meerkats.

National Geographic / Via

The meercat social system puts one alpha-female in charge of the group. She decides who her mate will be and, in doing so, picks him to be the alpha male. Generally, no one else gets to mate, and many male and female meerkats play a role in raising the offspring of that alpha couple.

5. These female deep-sea angler fish and their diminutive male parasites.

Dr. Theodore W. Pietsch / Via

For many years, scientists couldn't figure out why they were pulling only female deep-sea angler fish from the ocean. It turns out the males were there all along, they were just MUCH tinier and permanently fused to the female in a weird parasitic/sex-slave type situation. The male is only needed for his sperm, and eventually he becomes completely reliant on the female to survive.

7. These aggressively matriarchal honey bees.

History Channel / Via

The honey bee caste system is all organized around one female: the queen. The worker bees, which do the work of feeding the queen, are also all female. The males only exist for sexual reproductive purposes. And they only mate with the queen. It's not a super rosy view of life, but it is certainly far from patriarchal.


8. These super-invested hardhead catfish fathers.

eustatic / Via Flickr: eustatic

Male hardhead catfish, along with the males of many other species of catfish, take the fertilized eggs from a female and incubate them in their mouth until the babies are born. During that time they are unable to eat.

9. These sexually-liberated Barbary macaques.

Jill Lampert / Via

Female Barbary macaques are not shy during sex. In fact, they make as much noise as possible as a way to attract even more males to mate with them. Scientists think that male-male competition for females helps them get the best offspring.

11. These wise elephant matriarchs.

Animal Planet / Via

Female elephants, generally the oldest in a group, call the shots in their family units. Male elephants, on the other hand, live pretty solitary lives after they are kicked out of such a group when they mature. When the head female dies, that job is passed down to her first-born daughter.

12. These free-lovin' bonobos.

AbcoFilmCorp / Via

What bonobo societies lack in aggression they make up for with an endless supply of sex with partners of all ages and genders. Still, scientists believe that female bonobos are the dominant gender, and that social status is determined by a bonobos' mother, not the father.