Why do few animal species have female-dominant hierarchies?



The only one I can think are elephants.

In: Biology

Female bear the young (in general see seahorses) which means they have to devote a significant amount of resources to breeding, leaving the males to grow larger and stronger all they have to do is out compete the other males, the biggest and strongest animal in a group normally determines who is boss.

Animals with a social hierarchy are usually mammals. Typically speaking, with mammals, the male is larger and stronger than the female. The politics that has driven humans towards equal treatment, does not exist in the rest of the animal kingdom. So very often, the strongest ones are in charge.

Orcas, bonobos, honeybees, ants, lemurs, spotted hyenas, mole rats, and meerkats are also dominated by females.

If you look at insects tat live in colonies like ants or bees they are the queen and sterile female female workers. They have a few fertile male drones that mates with new queens. So the are female dominant and almost female exclusive species.

Closer to use you have Bonobos that was known in the past as pygmy chimpanzee that are lead by females.
Female Spotted Hyenas are larger then the males and dominate the groups.
Meerkats, Mole Rats and Killer Whales are other examples.

So it is not that few but in most case it is like the other post say that the males is larger and more dominant.
Most species of animal do not live in hierarchies or live alone so you do not have a dominant sex.

Depends on what you mean by dominant. Bees and ants have queens, and they are very important to the hives but are they dominant? Yes, maybe?

Wolf packs don’t have an alpha male as much as they have an alpha pair.

Female cats are more territorial than the males. Male cats may make more of a ruckus between them, but maybe that’s because no cat in their right mind will mess with a female grumpy cat who wants them off her lawn.

If you talk about visible and easily recognizable displays of dominance like fighting, it’s probably because females in their best years spend a significant part of their time being pregnant or caring for the young ones. TLDR: Fighting while pregnant is a bad idea.

However, dominance isn’t necessarily about chest thumping and fighting, either.