The undignified aristocracy of the spotted hyena
Link to the image that inspired this bio-insight:
Although biologists have avoided these terms, the spotted hyena qualifies as sexist and classist in its behaviour: sexist because one gender (female) systematically oppresses the other (male), and classist because individuals high in the hierarchy – which oppress others during gregarious eating – acquire their rank by birth rather than by contest. Although the society of the spotted hyena is often called a matriarchy, more apt would be the term ‘matriarchal aristocracy’.
Robin and the Honey Badger, 22 March 2016