September 17th, 2019

animal behavior

So I've been reading about the spotted hyena. This is a species where the females are bigger, stronger, and more dominant. They form unusually large social groups, and they're good at tactics, but they seem to quarrel a lot over standing within the group. And as I read this, I found myself thinking of the conversation in The Lord of the Rings where one orc, inside Mordor, suggests to another that the two of them go off together and find a territory of their own as a large dominant female making overtures of courtship to a smaller male.

We aren't told much about orc social behavior, and almost nothing about their reproduction (and just as well, I can imagine some readers saying). As far as we can tell, we only see male orcs. But what if that's like hyenas, where the sexes look very much alike, even in their genital anatomy? Maybe some of those orcs, especially the big, pushy ones, are actually orc-women. That would explain some things. . . .