Animal reproductive systems are incredibly complex - often more complicated than our own human mating rituals and reproductive cycles. Shockingly, most research in the animal sciences field focuses on male genitalia and sex habits. Researchers found that of 365 published research papers, only 8% focused on female animals and their genitalia.
However, sexism might not be the definitive reason for this gender gap. Due to their internal nature, vaginas are naturally more difficult to study than penises. Even with such little research, the things we do know about the vaginas of the animal kingdom are incredibly interesting. Hopefully the scientific community comes to its senses, and researches more about all of the crazy and interesting looking vaginas in nature.
Yes, you read that correctly. While marsupials are mammals, they have some anatomical features that make them unique in the animal kingdom. They are probably most well known for unique practice of carrying their young in pouches, but that’s only one of many amazing facts about the marsupial reproductive system.
Females technically have three vaginas and two uteruses; one is strictly used for giving birth, while the other two are connected to their uteruses. This adaptation allows animals like kangaroos to be 24/7 baby-making machines. They can have two fetuses gestating at once, a newborn in their pouch, and a juvenile by their side all at the same time. Not only can they have a lot of babies, they can also practice a form of self-regulated birth control in times of drought, postponing pregnancies until they determine they are ready.
The desert grassland whiptail lizard is an all-female species of reptile that is native to the Southwestern United States. They reproduce by a process called parthenogenesis, an ability that allows them to cross their own chromosomes and give birth to clones of the mother. Astonishingly, this process can be triggered by lesbian sex with another whiptail lizard. This phenomenon is known as pseudocopulation, and basically consists of the two females mounting each other, both taking turns playing the role of the male in typical sexual reproduction scenarios.
The fact ducks have vaginas at all already makes them unique - as most birds don't have vaginas or penises, but a single opening known as a cloaca responsible for all reproductive and digestive needs. Female duck genitals are also distinctive because of their shape. They are shaped long,and spiraled to deter unwanted entry.
Duck males are known for their sexual deviance, and a sort of genital competition has developed between the two sexes. To enter a female, not only does the male have to have a corkscrew for a penis, but it has to be spiraled in the correct direction. That means if she has a vagina that spirals clockwise and he has a penis that goes counter-clockwise, the male is basically locked out.
Hyenas should seriously be considered a symbol of feminism and feminine strength, because they are some of the toughest ladies in the animal kingdom. Their social dynamics are ruled by the females, with an alpha female leading the pack. In hyena society, the alpha eats first, followed by the rest of the females, and then finally the males are allowed to join in at the end. This allows female hyenas to grow bigger and stronger than their male counterparts, and they even have tougher immune systems than the males.
They also have one of the most unique reproductive organs in the world. Hyena females come equipped with the largest clitoris of any animal, with some growing to 7 inches in length. They have been referred to as pseudo-penises due to phallic appearance, and hyenas use them for everything from sex, to urination, to birth. That last point is a bit of a problem, however, as hyenas are forced to push out two pound infants through their narrow clitoris. The process is incredibly painful and often leads to clitoral tears, which can be fatal.