Large and reputed as timid and cowardly carnivores, hyenas are commonly found in Africa. Despite their reputation of being cowardly animals, hyenas can become really aggressive and dangerous. Through history, hyenas have been in close contact with humans. For instance, ancient Egyptians used to capture and domesticate them and then feed them in plenty to fatten them and eventually feast on them. However, there were times when even humans became the food of the hyenas. Let us today learn 30 interesting spotted hyena facts and find out more about this interesting animal.
Spotted Hyena Facts: 1-5
1. While hyenas are most commonly found in Africa, they are also native to Asia.
2. There are four distinct species of hyenas – the aardwolf, the brown hyena, the stripped hyena and the spotted hyena.
3. There are basically two distinct types of hyenas – dog-like hyenas and bone-crushing hyenas.
4. The dog-like hyenas are nearly extinct. The only dog-like hyena species to live today is the aardwolf. The remaining three species are all bone-crushing hyenas.
5. When it comes to hunting, spotted hyena species uses a special hunting technique. One hyena will take the job of creating confusion in the herd of the animal they want to kill. The other hyenas will then pick up a weak or old animal and hunt it down and chase away the other animals.
Spotted Hyena Facts: 6-10
6. Spotted hyenas have a reputation of being cowardly scavengers but interestingly enough, 95% of their meals actually come through hunting.
8. Spotted hyenas are mostly nocturnal by nature however; they often come out of their lairs during early-morning hours.
9. Spotted hyenas, unlike other species of hyenas are gregarious animals. In other words, they are social animals
10. Spotted hyena in specific is a native to Sub-Saharan Africa. However, according to scientists, this species actually may have originated in Asia and used to thrive throughout Europe for about a million years but their Asian and European habitat disappeared with the end of Late Pleistocene age of the Pleistocene Epoch.
Spotted Hyena Facts: 11-15
11. Spotted hyenas are the largest of all hyenas that live today. Their body built is vaguely bear-like.
12. The physical characteristics of spotted hyenas include – not so prominent mane, rounded ears, fewer nipples, spotted pelt and dual purposed dentition.
13. Female spotted hyenas have pseudo-penis, making it difficult to distinguish between a male spotted hyena and a female spotted hyena. This makes the spotted hyena the only mammalian species that lacks external vaginal opening.
14. In case of spotted hyenas, females are larger than males and males are dominated by females.
15. Spotted hyenas live in large groups known as clans. One clan may consist of up to 80 hyenas.