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The Beneficial Role Played by Maned Lionesses

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The presence of rare maned lionesses in Botswana's Okavango Delta challenges traditional concepts of the gender binary even in the animal kingdom. These "masculinized" female lions are seen as a genetic aberration, resulting from the disruption of an embryo either during conception or in utero. However, the population in the Okavango Delta appears to have a genetic predisposition toward this occurrence, according to the big-cat conservation group Panthera. While these lionesses are apparently sterile, observers state that they nevertheless have a beneficial role in the prides to which they belong.

Which of the following, if true, would support the statement that the maned lionesses benefit their prides?

A

The maned lionesses are treated the same as other lionesses by the members of the pride.

B

Male lions are willing to mate with the maned lionesses.

C

The maned lionesses help with bringing down prey.

D

The maned lionesses are perceived as males by potential predators, such as hyenas and lone male lions.

E

The maned lionesses pass on the genetic material that reproduces the aberration.