The animal kingdom is filled with numerous species that have yet to be fully discovered. We are still exploring the depths of the oceans and finding new organisms floating in the deepest pits of the sea, flickering with bioluminescence. However, the animal kingdom is a very interesting place, as it is here we can find uncommon relationships that defy most social norms.
One such organism is the female anglerfish. I say female because they are the ones in possession of their most distinctive feature, which is a spinal fin that protrudes from their body in a hook shape with luminous flesh at the tip. This unique feature then attracts fish and shrimp and allows the anglerfish to swallow their prey whole.
Octopi are one of the most intelligent creatures in the world. They are able to recognize other species and are capable of much more complex thought compared to other animal species. However, it is during mating season when this particular creature becomes interesting. Female octopi are known for asphyxiating males once they finish breeding, and then dragging them back to their den to feast upon their dead body.
The lion is considered to be the “King of the Jungle” although the saying seems to be grossly inaccurate. Lions are actually quite lazy and depend heavily upon lionesses, as the lionesses are the hunters in the pride. Lionesses are responsible for not only providing for their pride, but also taking care of the young. It is not unusual for a lioness to deny a male her hunt if she feels inclined to do so.
Unlike many other societies in the animal kingdom, bonobos (pygmy chimpanzees) are known to have matriarchal societies. The females are considered to be at the top with a very strict hierarchy. A male offspring from a strong female could rise and become a leader amongst other males in the group, but he could never usurp his mother’s position.
Komodo dragons are quite large and incredibly intimidating upon first glance. Their saliva is extremely poisonous, as it is filled with bacteria that help break down prey when they tear their hunt to shreds. However, female komodo dragons have another unique ability. They, in fact, do not need males in order to procreate. There have been several studies done where scientists have found komodo dragon eggs that were developing perfectly without being fertilized by a male.
The honeybee caste system is extremely matriarchal, with the queen and worker bees all being female. The hive is very female-centric, as the queen is chosen and raised by the worker bees. The males only exist for sexual reproduction purposes, and once they have mated with the queen they die. Another fun fact? Male bees are actually referred to as "drones."
When it comes to being dominant in a relationship, topi antelopes take the cake. Unlike many other species of antelopes, topi antelope females are fertile only once a year. It is during that twenty-four hour period that females become the aggressor in relationships and instigate everything in order to procreate. In fact, they are so dominant that it is not uncommon for the standoffish males to find themselves in a state of exhaustion.
bioluminescence (n.) – the light produced by a living organism
protrude (v.) – to extend beyond the surface; to stick out
asphyxiate (v.) – to kill someone or something by depriving them of air
pride (n.) – a group or pack of lions
matriarchal (adj.) – referring to when a female is the head of a group or organization
usurp (v.) – to take a position by force