Female Hyenas Have a “Penis” That They Use To Give Birth

How weird can nature get? We already know it’s pretty weird, but could you have possibly imagined a female animal that has male, um, “parts”? Well, you probably didn’t want to imagine that, but now that it’s in your mind, here’s the female hyena.

Hyena Pseudopenis

Notice anything…different…about this female animal? If you noticed the giant penis between her legs, you win first prize, although you probably don’t want it. So way to go; you now know what a female hyena penis looks like!

While this may seem like some sick internet joke, female hyenas do have a penis-like organ, complete with a fake scrotum and testes, called a pseudopenis (click at your own risk) that is actually an extended clitoris. This organ can be up to eight inches long, and the hyenas with the longest ones tend to dominate all the other hyenas, including the smaller males, who have real penises.

Because the male hyena must insert his penis into the female hyena’s pseudopenis in a long, complicated process, rape of the female hyena is physically impossible.

Majestic. Photo by Laika ac.
Majestic spotted hyena. Photo by Laika ac.

If that wasn’t weird enough, the female hyenas have to give birth through these things.


Spotted hyenas have the largest carnivoran young relative to their mothers’ weight, so not only does their clitoris rupture during birth, but often, 60% of their first litter dies of suffocation inside their pseudopenis. So, for some reason, hyenas evolved to make childbirth even more painful and traumatic.

WATCH NEXT: Hyenas vs. Lions