Animals of the world, Spotted Hyena

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spotted hyena (640x582)

  • Spotted Hyenas live in much of central and southern Africa, south of the Sahara Desert.
  • Hyenas are fairly large in build and have relatively short torsos with lower hindquarters and sloping backs. They have short, thick yellow-grey fur which is covered in a spot pattern. Fur colour varies greatly and changes with age
  • Adults have a shoulder height of 70–91.5 cm (28–36 in). Adult male spotted hyenas in the Serengeti weigh 40.5–55.0 kg (89–121 lbs), while females weigh 44.5–63.9 kg (98–141 lbs)
  • Spotted hyenas are the largest of three hyena species. Brown and striped hyenas are the other two.
  • The powerful jaws and digestive tract of the hyena allow it to process and obtain nutrients from skin and bones
  • Spotted hyenas are quite vocal and make a wide variety of sounds, including the “laughing” that has long been associated with their name.
  • Spotted hyenas have a complex social system where animals live in female-dominated clans of up to 90 individuals. To live and interact in such a large clan requires a great deal of social intelligence.
  • Packs of spotted hyenas can bring down an animal as large as a giraffe, a zebra, or even an African Cape buffalo. Hyenas not only prey on almost any kind of live animal they can catch — large and small — but also eat carrion
  • The average lifespan in the wild is 19 years