Every year on the 8 March, females are celebrated for their brilliance and amazing achievements, and the issue of inequality and bias is brought to the forefront.
This International Women’s Day I want to raise awareness of the strong, powerful and overall amazing females of the animal kingdom.
Despite being better known as the ‘King of the Jungle’, it’s actually the female African lions who lead the prides. They spend their whole lives in the area they were born in giving them the advantage of knowing where all the best hunting grounds and watering holes are. They are also pretty good at defending their cubs against aggressive adult males (who commonly seek to kill cubs belonging to other males to ensure the survival of their own offspring), hunting and protecting their territory.
Orcas, otherwise known as killer whales, have been known to live into their 90s. The pod is led by a matriarch who holds valuable knowledge on their surrounding area as to where the best food can be found.
When it comes to elephants, herds are led by the largest and eldest female cow, also known as the matriarch. They are the ones who have earned the respect of the rest of the herd based on their confidence, wisdom and the connections and relationships they have with the other elephants. The group, which is made up of the matriarch’s daughters and granddaughters, will rely on this elder to make the major decisions in times of crisis and lead them to reliable food sources.
To create life there must be a male and a female, right? Wrong. There are some species on this planet in which the females are able to reproduce offspring all on their own. This includes the largest lizard on Earth, the Komodo dragon. The process is known as parthenogenesis – laying eggs without having mated. Female Komodo dragons have both the male and female sex chromosomes allowing them to develop perfectly healthy embryos.
Another interesting female within the animal kingdom is the octopus. It is not uncommon for a female octopus – which are often much larger than the males – to strangle the male octopus with her tentacles and eat him after they have mated.