Hyena Facts & Diet

Hyena or hyenas are relevant to the Hyaenidae family, the prime suborder of the Carnivora. It has four species ( Spotted hyenastriped hyena, brown hyena and aardwolf hyena) and the fifth-smallest biological family in the Carnivora family. It’s one of the smallest in the Mammalia’s class.

About Hyena

  • The Scientific name of Hyena is  Hyaenidae.
  • We can keep them in the family segment as Rank.
  • The mass of Spotted, Adult, Male, Zambia population is on an average is: 68 kg
  • The Lower classifications of them are Hyaena, Crocuta, Proteles
  • The lifespan of the Striped hyena, In Wild, is 12 yrs and in Zoo is 13 yrs on an average.
  • The Height of Brown hyena, Adult, At Shoulder is 70 – 80 cm.

Hyena Evolution

Initially, they grow in Eurasia during the Miocene period-like ancestors. They developed into the lightly built dog-like and the robust bone-crushing. 15 million years ago the dog-like species prospered in North America and got died with a change in the climate.

Spotted hyena

The extermination had occurred along with an arrival of another species of the dog like genealogy in Eurasia. only the insectivorous aardwolf survived, while the bone-crushing species (whose extant members are the spotted, brown and striped hyenas) became the undisputed top scavengers of Eurasia and Africa.

Hyena Facts

  • They are generally hunting at night and early morning.
  • Aardwolves eat termites.
  • The female is much stronger and dominant then male.
  • Both male and female are sharp hunters.
  • They are using different signals, postures, and sounds to communicate with each other.one of the most common sound that they produce is laughter.
  • When they are young, they attack the other same species and eat them.
  • They mark their territory with a white material produced from the anal gland. this material has a very strong smell and informs other’s that this territory has already occupied.
  • It’s very difficult to identify their gender as both male or female are similar genital.
  • This species can take 90 to 110 days to give birth. one female can give birth 2 to 4 cubs at a time. she takes care of them in a den which reserved for the mother and the newborn. She takes care of their newborn for 04 weeks.
  • They feed their cubs for 12 to 18 months. cubs start eating the meet at the age of 05 months.
  • They live 12 years in the wild and 25 years in the captivity.

Hyena Size

They are varying according to their size. there is a slight difference among the species. with 35″ in height and approx 90 pounds in weight Spotted Hyena is the largest. the insect killer Aardwolves is the smallest in this category with a configuration of 20″ in heights and approx 60 pounds in weight.

Hyena Behavior

In the consideration of the behavior of other species their grooming, scent marking, defecating habits, mating, and parental behavior are more consistent. Although They are having the long reputation as a cowardly scavenger especially spotted hyenas. They kill approximately 95% of the food they eat.

They are also popular to drive off lionesses and leopards far away from the animals which they killed. They are vespertine animals generally but also dare to leave their lairs in the early-morning hours to do hunting. They generally congregate at hunting and live in groups.

Hyena Mating

At the anal opening, a male has a naked skin. Above the anus, the anal gland open in the naked skin. The anal gland ejected about approx 05 cm and the time of mating and social interaction. The female dominate the male hyena for mating. The mating season is nonseasonal in the captivity. on the other hand in the wild mating season is different as per the location.

Hyena facts

Hyena Gestation period 

The gestation period is for approx 190 days. The male searches the den for the female. The cubs belong to the striped hyena born with small ears, closed eyes and adult marking whereas the spotted cubs born fully developed and open their eyes in a week. Cubs left the den in a month.

Hyena Adaptions 

Hyenas feature are primarily described in the folklore and mythology. In the human cultures, they are included with which they are sympathetic. In the human culture they are viewed with fear and contempt, also being used for witchcraft. Their body parts are mostly used as a special ingredient in the traditional medicines. There are also some beliefs among some cultures that they are thought to rob graves and influence people’s spirits. They kill children and livestock.

Hyena as a Pet

To keep a Hyena as a pet is not an easy thing. They are the scavenger, a dangerous animal who is not been happy in captivity. In simple condition’s it’s not a good domestic companion. They require extensive training and a muzzle to keep them calm. They are muzzled all the time to ignore any loss of human and property.

In the wild, they take huge time to be a good hunter and if they kept as the pet they deprived of such practice which causes a death sentence for them in case if they release in any condition. If they release for the captivity under any conditions, there is a threat to carry some new disease from the captivity to the wild.

On the contrary, some research shows that In case of any communication or solve any problem a pair of this species is performed very silently. They did this via non-verbal communication.

Hyena Color

Brown Hyena Brown with black spots on the leg.
Striped Hyena Beige with dark black strips
Spotted Hyena Brown with black spots
Aardwolf Beige with broad spaced black strips

Hyena Eyes Description

The eyes of a hyena are small and brown in color and glow brightly at the time of night. They have very good night vision, they can see very clear at night that’s why they leave their den to hunt in the night or in the early morning.

The eyesight of the species is very accurate and very helpful while hunting at night.

Hyena Laugh

To living and venture in groups is in their habitat and they use several communication methods to communicate with the group. laughing sound is one of the premier communication ways which they use. Enjoy their laughing sound though the videos are given below.

Their laugh looks like a giggle and this giggle is very loud with a ” hee hee hee” sound as a human do. Spotted hyena generally use this sound of a laugh while hunting.

Hyena Enemies

This species is generally a social species who live in groups. due to their number and physical strength they dominant it’s territory. Their jaw is as strong as it breaks a springbok leg bone after five minutes of birth. Somehow a lion creates some danger for the cub otherwise normally they are the pioneer because of their number and strength.

By nature, the hyena is carrion eaters and require prey for the cripple, older and cubes. due to such habit and eat carrion their immune system suffered by bacteria and virus a lot. we can consider bacteria and virus one of their main enemy. Human has also affected them badly. Either intentionally or accidentally human give poison to them.we can also keep human in the list of the enemies.

Leopard Vs Hyena

They belong to the Hyaenidae family and look like the dogs. both leopard and hyena having the same weight group i.e. 35 to 90 kg. Comparatively, leopard is very much agile than this species. they are very smart hunters. leopard has strong legs with sharp paws and sharp claws whereas They have many high forelegs and short behind legs, a thick neck and strong jaw which bite anything even a bone.

Hyena Diet

Despite such an advantage, a hyena is a known as a covered animal. A few of them can stand in front of leopard over food but it depends upon the size, age, experience, and sex.

Hyena vs Dog

In several aspects, Hyenas are very similar to dogs according to the behaviourally and morphologically. Some of the similarities are as under:-

  • Both of them hyenas and canines are non-arboreal.
  • Both are caught prey with their sharp and strong teeth’s instead of their claws, which keep them in the Crafty hunters class.
  • Both of them finish their food very quickly. They may store their food.
  • They have rigid feet with large and non-retractable nails which are really helpful and adapted for running and taking sharp turns.

This is all about Hyena Species. You can get details on other animal and facts from here.

Animal facts and Diet