Spotted hyena (lat. Crocuta Crocuta) is a large mammal that lives in various regions of Africa. Today it is the only species from the genus Crocuta. Belongs to the hyena family, the subdivision of catshaped.
Spotted hyenas are the largest representatives of their family. They hunt flocks, rarely eat carrion. It is this species that is famous for its ominous laughter, which animals use to communicate in the group. Females dominate in flocks, among whom there is a certain hierarchy.
The average parameters of spotted hyenas:
The wool of these predators is short, rough. The color is predominantly gray, along the woolen cover there are dark spots of various sizes. The neck is wide, thick. The skull is large, dull. The ears are large, rounded. The hind legs are shorter than the front.
Where they live
Spotted hyenas live only on the territory of the African continent. Here they can be found mainly in the east and south. Most often, spotted predators compete with their striped counterparts, displace them from their territories. They prefer to live in savannahs, on grassy plains, among shrubs, in the foothills, semideserts.
What they eat
The diet of spotted hyenas is quite diverse, and the carrion in it takes no more than 20%. They gather in flocks and hunt for various animals. It can be both large herbivores and stronger predators. Hyenas do not disdain to hunt small animals, birds. Researchers have repeatedly recorded when hyenas attacked giraffes, small or sick elephants, buffalo.
In terms of eating, these predators eat absolutely everything, even bones. This is possible due to very strong teeth, strong jaws, hardy stomach.
In the lifestyle, spotted hyenas are not much different from their relatives of other species. They live in groups, hunt in a pack. The main activity is manifested precisely at night. The highest positions in groups are occupied by females, displacing from there males. They are the first to try prey, occupy cooler places for living. In this case, among the females, its own hierarchy acts. To take a leading position in it, female individuals often fight with each other.
Separate clans of hyenas are often fighting between each other. Bits go beyond the territory, often end with bloody battles.
The eldest female is usually the most prolific, her posterity is the healthiest. Most often, no more than 7 puppies are born in one litter. Initially, kids are kept in burrows, earthen shelters, caves. Until growing up, the mother protects them.
To better understand these predators, it is recommended to get acquainted with interesting facts about them:
- Spotted hyenas The largest, strong of all representatives of their family. They are the first to come to mind, since for communication in a pack they use frightening laughter.
- These predators are most often grown in earthen burrows. In order not to build such a shelter on their own, they find readymade holes, drive out other animals from them.
- Hyenas are not afraid of water, but even vice versa they like to “accept the bathroom” on very hot days.
- These predators hunt flocks, however, do not adhere to any tactics. No drivers and encountering individuals. Due to its endurance, the ability to develop high speed and for a long time not to slow down, in most cases, the hunt ends successfully.
- Females of spotted hyenas are much larger, more aggressive than males, occupy a leading position in flocks.
- You can meet spotted hyenas in mountainous areas, at an altitude of 4 km above sea level.
- Hyenas take prey from other predators as often as they are. This is especially pronounced on their relationship with the lions.
- Most of the food is mined on their own.
- Hyena can be tamed. They are well lend itself to training, if you take the education of the cub. With proper nutrition, care, the total life expectancy in captivity increases almost twice.
Hyenas are prone to aggression in relation to each other in the struggle for food. There are often situations when two flocks of predators are found near one prey striped and spotted or spotted and brown. In this situation, most often the large individuals win.
According to official statistics, in many regions of Africa, spotted hyenas are at the risk of extinction. A person introduced great importance to reducing the population. In order to prevent complete disappearance of these predators, in some countries Africa, their population is taken under control. In addition to this, animals live in many zoos of the world, where their number is gradually increasing.