60+ Shocking Facts About Hyena You Didn't know

Facts About Hyena In English - In this post we will give you information and facts about hyenas. Friends Hyenas, or hyaenas are feliform carnivoran mammals of the family Hyaenidae. With only four extant species (in three genera), it is the fifth-smallest biological family in the Carnivora and one of the smallest in the class Mammalia. Despite their low diversity, hyenas are unique and vital components of most African ecosystems. So let us now tell you some interesting facts about hyena.

60 Shocking Facts About Hyena You Didn't know

60+ Shocking Facts About Hyena - Hyena Facts

  • Spotted hyenas require very little water to survive despite the fact that they eat quite a lot of dry bones.
  • Cubs thrive on their mothers’ milk for up to 18 months but they start eating meat by the age of 5 months from kills near their dens.
  • Cubs usually go out on scavenging expeditions with their mothers at the age of 1 year. Until then, some adult hyena will babysit the cubs.
  • Spotted hyenas are extremely vocal animals. They make a wide range of sounds to communicate with their clan members.
  • Despite what Simba would have you believe, spotted hyenas don’t just scavenge for lion leftovers. Spotted hyenas hunt and kill in packs. Ninety-five percent of what a hyena eats comes from hunting. A group of hyenas can devour an entire zebra, leaving no leftovers—not even the bones—in under half an hour. However, this feeding frenzy comes at a cost; hyenas rip, claw, and fight with one another over the remains of their meal.
  • Spotted hyenas often hunt in groups and can take down big animals such as wildebeest, antelope, zebras and young hippos. Smaller snacks on their menu include birds, fish, snakes, lizards and insects, too.
  • These guys like to make the most of their meals. Equipped with a super-strong jaw and teeth, they can chomp through every part of their victim, except the horns. Yep, that includes the bones!
  • Spotted hyenas are social mammals and live in structured groups, called clans, of up to 80 individuals. There’s a strict hierarchy, where females rank higher than males, and the group is led by one powerful alpha female.
  • Historians theorized that ancient Egyptians domesticated striped hyenas and used them as a food source. In ancient hieroglyphics, hyenas are often depicted in subordinate positions, being hunted and tamed. But in a 2010 paper published in the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, A. J. Legge surmises that this was all just Egyptian pomp. Because the striped hyena lives off of carrion, they would make for a terrible meal (what with all that trichinosis). Legge concludes that while hyenas may have been tamed for a period, it didn’t last long.
  • When a spotted hyena greets another hyena after a long separation, they engage in greeting ceremonies during which both male and female members of the species develop erections.
  • In women-dominated spotted hyena clans, adult males are the lowest of the low. When the male hyena reaches sexual maturity at the age of two, he leaves home and goes to find a new group. This is a violent and vicious process. When the new group's alpha female finally allows the male in, he is welcomed by being constantly harassed and forced to struggle for food and sex.

Interesting Spotted Hyena Facts

  • Hyenas and lions often fight over the same territories and hunt the same prey. This leads to fierce competition between the two animals. They steal each other’s food and kill off the young of their enemies.
  • Female spotted hyenas are more muscular and more aggressive than their male counterparts. This is because the females have three times as much testosterone in their bodies. As a result, spotted hyena societies are matriarchal. Even baby girl cubs rule over the boys.
  • Female spotted hyenas have a pseudo-penis that is basically an elongated clitoris. Some pseudo-penises can grow up to seven inches long, totally besting the average length of the human penis.
  • 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 hyenas are the largest of all hyenas that live today. Their body built is vaguely bear-like.
  • The physical characteristics of spotted hyenas include – not so prominent mane, rounded ears, fewer nipples, spotted pelt and dual purposed dentition.
  • Spotted hyenas mark their home area with their droppings and also using a strong-smelling substance from their anal glands.
  • Though spotted hyenas are capable of digesting bones and skins, they fail to completely digest hooves, horns and hair of their prey.
  • Fast whoops, groans, grunts, growls, yells etc. are very common. They even make sounds that sound like human laughter. The common laughter sounds include loud grunt-laughs, soft grunt-laughs and giggles.
  • The pitch of the laughter can tell the age of a spotted hyena. Social rank of a hyena can be found out using the notes frequency variation.
  • 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 hyenas have a reputation of being cowardly scavengers but interestingly enough, 95% of their meals actually come through hunting.
  • Spotted hyenas are capable of digesting skin, bones and wastes of other animals.
  • This species is very territorial by nature. Each clan defends its area from intruding clans. The home area of each clan includes a central den which is the center of all activities. Cubs are always raised in dens. Clan members meet in the central den.
  • Spotted hyenas are actually omnivores and they eat even vegetable matter.
  • The female spotted hyena uses her pseudo-penis for urination, copulation, and birth, which can make the birthing process difficult—it’s estimated that 60 percent of hyena cubs die from suffocation. (It's dangerous for the mothers, too; the baby cubs can tear the pseudo-penis lining, an injury that can prove fatal.) Those that do survive face several hardships of their own: Female hyenas have only two nipples, so litters of more than two have to fight to survive, leaving the weakest cubs to die of starvation. 
  • Sordid myths and legends about hyenas abound. In Tanzania and India, legend holds that witches ride hyenas. An Ethiopian folk religion tells of people who possess the evil eye and can change themselves into the creatures. In the Middle Ages, hyenas were believed to dig up and consume the bodies of the dead.
  • These amazing animals inhabit savannahs, grasslands, woodlands and forest edges across sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The spotted hyena’s body can grow to almost 2m long, plus a dark, bushy tail measuring 25-30cm long. Females are heavier than males, and can weigh up to 82kg.

Amazing Facts About Hyena

  • They have a sandy, ginger-coloured coat with black markings on their body and legs. They sport a cool, short mane on their neck and shoulders, too!
  • Of our planet’s three different species of hyena (the spotted, brown and striped hyena), the spotted hyena is the largest and most common.
  • Famed scavengers, these cool carnivores have a reputation for eating the leftovers of other predators. But don’t be fooled, they’re super-skilled predators themselves! In fact, they hunt and kill most of their food.
  • A Female hyena gives birth to one or two cubs a year, which she nurses in a den. As the youngsters grow up, males will often leave to join a different clan, whereas females will remain in the same clan for life.
  • Spotted hyenas are also known as laughing hyenas. Why? Because these highly intelligent creatures communicate with yells, whoops and cackles – some of which can be heard almost 5km away!
  • Hyenas don’t just laugh for fun. Scientists say that the pitch and the note frequency (or tone) of a hyena’s laugh can give an indication of its age and social status.
  • While hyenas are most commonly found in Africa, they are also native to Asia.
  • There are basically two distinct types of hyenas – dog-like hyenas and bone-crushing hyenas.
  • 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.
  • The spotted hyenas are also known for warding off lionesses and leopards away from their kills.
  • Spotted hyenas are mostly nocturnal by nature however; they often come out of their lairs during early-morning hours.
  • Spotted hyenas, unlike other species of hyenas are gregarious animals. In other words, they are social animals
  • In case of spotted hyenas, females are larger than males and males are dominated by females.
  • Spotted hyenas live in large groups known as clans. One clan may consist of up to 80 hyenas.
  • For male spotted hyenas, time of dispersal, mating opportunities and access to kills depends on their ability to dominate other male members of the clan.
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