Absolute Predator

 

Hyena Eating

Hyenas

 

There are four living species of the Hyaenidae family, which are the striped hyena, brown hyena, the spotted hyena and the aardwolf. Hyenas are believed to have derived 26 million years ago from the arboreal ancestors appearing to have a resemblance to the modern banded palm civet. Plioviverrops, an early hyena, was a nimble civet-like animal that dwelled in Eurasia about 20 to 22 million years ago. 15 million years ago, dog-like hyenas thrived, with 30 various specifies being recognized.

  

Physical Characteristics Of The Hyena

 

The hyena is the most prevalent large carnivore in Africa. The female spotted hyena is dominant over the male hyena and outweighs it by approximately 3 pounds. It is often challenging to tell the sexes apart in the field because the external female genitalia have a superficial resemblance to those of the male. The reason for this physical development in the female hyena is unidentified, however, it may have been essential for them to look bigger and physically powerful to safeguard their young from males, as hyenas tend to be cannibalistic in nature.

 

Hyena Behavior

 

The hyena is considered to be very intelligent creatures. It relays information by unique signals, postures and calls. Spotted hyenas dwell in large groups known as clans. The clans concentrated around females, who are dominant over the males. The aardwolf, however, is a solitary creature.

The hyena is a hunter and scavenger—it has very strong jaws and sharp teeth (excluding the aardwolf). The hyena’s diet typically consists of zebra, wildebeest, buffalo, gazelle, eggs, topi, fruits and insects. The aardwolf, though, is a specialized feeder of termites. Hyenas are able to survive for many days without water.

 

Habitat

 

The spotted hyena can be found in various types of landform. It may dwell in grasslands, savannas, woodlands, forest edges, subdeserts and mountains.

 

Diet

 

The spotted hyena is a competent hunter and an opportunistic scavenger at the same time. It feeds on a wide range of animals of different sizes, bones, carrion and vegetable matter. The strong jaws and digestive tract of the hyena enable it to process and get nutrients from bones and skin. The only portions of the prey not completely digested are horns, hooves and hair (these are regurgitated as pellets).

 

 

Interesting Facts About Hyenas

 

The spotted hyena was misunderstood until the last 3 decades. Scientists used to believe they were mainly scavengers. Today, however, there is more interest in the study of these animals due to their unique and fascinating characteristics. The hyena is often mistaken for the African wild dog. It has an average life span of 12 years and can survive up to 25 years in confinement. When there is a confrontation between hyenas and lions, the winner is often the species with the most members. Hyena claws are rounded and non-retractile. In ancient Egypt, the hyena was domesticated, fattened up, and consumed. The spotted hyena has been termed as “laughing hyena” because it is a typically very noisy creature. Finally, the hyena is not a dog, and is in fact more closely related to the cat!

 

 

 

  

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