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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

opala - the alpha of all alphas

i realise i've never said much about opala, because she is so hard to photograph, so i'm very grateful to Rob Leyland from the British embassy for taking these photos!

Opala, is the number one top dog of group 1. She is one tough cookie, and belies the concept that bonobos are supposed to be peaceful! i have seen her chase petit bonobo garcons right up trees, screaming, and occasionally one of the big males.

Look at her face - does it look like a face you want to mess with?

Even though Opala may not be a nice alpha, the important thing is that she IS an alpha. There are so few female-dominated societies. Hyenas are one, but female hyenas are as beefed up as the males, and they also have penises. Female black widow spiders eat their mates, but they are four times bigger.

And even though Opala may be a biatch (i can say that, right? Tyra banks says it on her show) she doesn't kill anyone, like a dominant alpha chimpanzee, and even the not so dominant chimps. So let Opala chase the little boys up trees, as long as instills a healthy respect for girl power and stops them from growing into big bullies.