Mort (morty_baby) wrote in thequestionclub,

Hyenas and my mother

My mother, who I suspect isn't all there, insists that she watched a show on the Discovery Channel about hyenas and she quoted them with much feigned authority (it was the DISCOVERY channel after all tra la) that hyenas can change their sex at will. She said, and I quote, that hyenas are predominantly female because the females KILL the males at birth, indeed even in the womb itself, and then when they need to breed, a female will change to male, breed with the females and then TADA! change back into a female again. Now, I have been on this earth a long


time and I have never ever heard this startling bit of news. So, getting on the internet, I thought that I would see if she was full of what the cows leave behind or on drugs or something and I see that it is a quite an ancient myth that many people still believe in. To quote one of hundreds of sources: Myths about hyenas originated from confusion about their sexual activity. Male and female mate just as other mammals do, but male and female genitalia are quite similar in appearance. One theory holds that the female has a large amount of male hormones to increase her aggressiveness. Whatever the biological reason, the confusion inspired claims that hyenas could change sex at will. So, printing off a few sources and giving her the facts, she still insists that that is what she saw on the Discovery Channel and she stands by it. Has anyone else see this show on tv or should I just give my mother a great big hug with a long-sleeved white canvas coat?

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