In December 2013, a cull was organised and marksmen killed ten hyenas which had occupied wasteland near the city centre. They have an unusual appearance due to their long powerful neck, uneven leg length (front legs are longer), and short thick yellow-grey fur which is covered in a … Clans, which are led by females, may have up to 80 hyenas. Unlike stallions, mares typically only react aggressively to hyenas when their foals are threatened. An intruder can be accepted into another clan after a long period of time if it persists in wandering into the clan's territory, dens or kills. [96] However spotted hyenas remain being mislabeled as scavengers, often even by ecologists and wildlife documentary channels. [5] In Western Europe at least, the spotted hyena's extinction coincided with a decline in grasslands 12,500 years ago. Although they do not wag their tails, spotted hyenas will flick their tails when approaching dominant animals or when there is a slight tendency to flee. The Hyena weighs approx 50 kilograms, is stocky and has extremely powerful jaws, especially in relation to its size. Hyenas are found spread over the African Savannah south of … A group of spotted hyenas can transform a wildebeest to mere stains on the grass in a matter of minutes. The victors often squabble over the spoils, either among themselves or with other powerful animals like lions. [95] One of the earliest studies to demonstrate their hunting abilities was done by Hans Kruuk, an African wildlife ecologist, and he showed through a 7-year study of hyena populations in Africa that spotted hyenas hunt as much as lions, and with later studies this has been shown to be the average in all areas of Africa. In 1939, biologist L Harrison Matthews demonstrated through comparisons between a large selection of spotted hyena skulls from Tanzania that all the variation seen in the then recognised subspecies could also be found in a single population, with the only set of characters standing out being pelage (which is subject to a high degree of individual variation) and size (which is subject to Bergmann's Rule). One study in northern Kenya revealed that 90% of all cases of livestock predation by hyenas occurred in areas outside the protection of thorn fences. The earliest migration of spotted hyenas from Africa to Eurasia began less than 3.5 million years ago, most probably from the area where the first spotted hyena fossils were discovered, reaching East Asia and most likely also Pakistan. The description given by Pennant was precise enough to be included by Johann Erxleben in his Systema regni animalis by simply translating Pennant's text into Latin. The spotted hyena is similar in size to a wolf, but more powerfully built, and heavier. Spotted hyenas have adapted to this pressure by frequently mobbing lions which enter their territories. It is also often called the laughing hyena. Such large carcasses were an optimal food resource for hyenas, especially at the end of winter, when food was scarce. There is another scientific name which is crocuta maculata-----Mac-u-la-ta meaning spotted. [63] High-ranking hyenas maintain their position through aggression directed against lower-ranking clan-members. On average, an adult spotted hyena eats about 4.4 to 8.8 pounds (2 to 4 kg) of food each day. [45] A 63.1 kg (139 lb) spotted hyena is estimated to have a bite force of 565.7 newtons at the canine tip and 985.5 newtons at the carnassial eocone. [9] It has been theorised that female dominance in spotted hyena clans could be an adaptation in order to successfully compete with males on kills, and thus ensure that enough milk is produced for their cubs. John Milton, in his Samson Agonistes, compares the species to Delila. Once the muscles have been eaten, the carcass is disassembled and the hyenas carry off pieces to eat in peace. The third spotted hyena migration took place 0.36 million years ago, starting from the northern African population and reaching both Europe and Asia. The spotted hyena’s fur is yellow-gray or gray-brown. Cheetahs are usually easily intimidated by hyenas, and put up little resistance,[120] while leopards, particularly males, may stand up to hyenas. In 2013, a baby boy was killed by hyenas after being snatched from his mother as she camped near the Hilton Hotel. Creel, Scott; Creel, Nancy Marusha (2002). [40], The skull of the spotted hyena differs from that of the striped hyena by its much greater size and narrower sagittal crest. References to the spotted hyena's vocalisations are referenced in numerous contemporary examples of English literature, including Shakespeare's As You Like It and George Chapman's Eastward Ho. In the same area, hyena faeces are believed to enable a child to walk at an early age, thus it is not uncommon in that area to see children with hyena dung wrapped in their clothes. It further embodies physical power, excessivity, ugliness, stupidity, as well as sacredness. Emitted on the approach of another, unwelcome hyena, and may be followed by chasing, Similar to above, but more "ooo" sounding and higher in pitch, "Ooo" sound with a usually low pitch and lasts several seconds. The ontogeny of the urogenital system of the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta Erxleben). [13], Unlike other large African carnivores, spotted hyenas do not preferentially prey on any species, and only African buffalo and giraffe are significantly avoided. Overall, the two animals typically ignore each other when there is no food or young at stake. It is typical for females to remain with their natal clan (although there have been rare instance of them dispersing[62]), thus large clans usually contain several matrilines, whereas males typically disperse from their natal clan at the age of 2½ years. In an increasingly overpopulated Africa, hyenas and humans come into frequent contact. There exists a common misconception that hyenas steal kills from lions, but most often it is the other way around,[111] and lions will readily steal the kills of spotted hyenas. Females are polyestrous, with an estrus period lasting two weeks. In some areas they have been heavily hunted as destructive pests. [30] This stance was contested by Ficarelli and Torre, who referred to evidence of the spotted hyena's presence from African deposists dating from the early Pleistocene, a similar age to the Asian C. Kolben, a German mathematician and astronomer who worked for the Dutch East India Company in the Cape of Good Hope from 1705 to 1713, described the spotted hyena in great detail, but referred to it as a "tigerwolf", because the settlers in southern Africa did not know of hyenas, and thus labelled them as "wolves". Hiob Ludolf, in his Historia aethiopica, was the first to clearly distinguish the Crocuta from Hyaena on account of physical, as well as geographical grounds, though he never had any first hand experience of the species, having gotten his accounts from an Ethiopian intermediary. [79] Unique among carnivorous mammals, spotted hyenas are also born with their eyes open and with 6–7 mm long canine teeth and 4 mm long incisors. The crest is mostly reddish-brown in colour. [9] Combined with large jaw muscles and a special vaulting to protect the skull against large forces, these characteristics give the spotted hyena a powerful bite which can exert a pressure of 80 kgf/cm2 (1140 lbf/in²),[42] which is 40% more force than a leopard can generate. The Egyptian Saint abba (Father) Matewos of Asfoni was associated with hyenas; one fable tells of how he rescued a cub trapped in a pit, and had his feet licked in gratitude by its mother. [36] The head is wide and flat with a blunt muzzle and broad rhinarium. [88] When hunting Thomson's gazelles, spotted hyenas usually operate alone, and prey primarily on young fawns. Female spotted hyenas are a bit larger than the males, but otherwise they look exactly the same. Among the Korè cult of the Bambara people in Mali, the belief that spotted hyenas are hermaphrodites appears as an ideal in-between in the ritual domain. Spotted hyenas can digest all organic components in bones, not just the marrow. Harvey, Martin and Mills, M. G. L. (October 2001) "Spotted Hyaena versus Brown Hyaena, Skirmishes in the Desert". [101] There is at least one record of four hyenas killing an adult or subadult hippopotamus in Kruger National Park. Jane Goodall recorded spotted hyenas attacking or savagely playing with the exterior and interior fittings of cars, and the species is thought to be responsible for eating car tyres. [154], Spotted hyenas feature prominently in the rituals of certain African cultures. The bestiaries of the Middle Ages embraced the Physiologus's descriptions, but further elaborated on the animal's necrophagous habits. Carrion is detected by smell and the sound of other predators feeding. Bosman, a Dutch tradesman who worked for the Dutch West India Company at the Gold Coast (modern day Ghana) from 1688 to 1701, wrote of "Jakhals, of Boshond" (jackals or woodland dogs) whose physical descriptions match the spotted hyena. As a result, many captive hyena populations are facing extinction. [109], When feeding on an intact carcass, spotted hyenas will first consume the meat around the loins and anal region, then open the abdominal cavity and pull out the soft organs. [17] Unlike the grey wolf, the spotted hyena relies more on sight than smell when hunting, and does not follow its prey's prints or travel in single file. [1] The species is, however, experiencing declines outside of protected areas due to habitat loss and poaching. In contrast, chimps and other primates often require extensive training, and cooperation between individuals is not always as easy for them. [78] This neonatal siblicide kills an estimated 25% of all hyenas in their first month. In Uganda, it is thought that the species primarily preys on birds and reptiles, while in Zambia it is considered a scavenger. In the rocky areas of East Africa and Congo, spotted hyenas use caves as dens, while those in the Serengeti use kopjes as resting areas in daylight hours. [151] An April 2004 BBC article described how a shepherd living in the small town of Qabri Bayah about 50 kilometres from Jigjiga, Ethiopia managed to use a male spotted hyena as a livestock guardian dog, suppressing its urge to leave and find a mate by feeding it special herbs. From a husbandry point of view, hyenas are easily kept, as they have few disease problems and it is not uncommon for captive hyenas to reach 15–20 years of age. [12] Its social organisation is unlike that of any other carnivore, bearing closer resemblance to that of cercopithecine primates (baboons and macaques) with respect to group-size, hierarchical structure, and frequency of social interaction among both kin and unrelated group-mates. Spotted hyenas, under these circumstances, would have been outcompeted by wolves and humans which were as much at home in forests as in open lands, and in highlands as in lowlands. [24], Bosman and Kolben's descriptions went largely unnoticed until 1771, when the Welsh naturalist Thomas Pennant, in his Synopsis of Quadrupeds, used the descriptions, as well as his personal experience with a captive specimen, as a basis for consistently differentiating the spotted hyena from the striped. The Spotted hyena’s genus name, “crocuta,” is from a Latin word that means “an unknown wild animal of Ethiopia”. [73] Lactating females can carry 3–4 kg (6.6–8.8 lb) of milk in their udders. One study of the hyena immune system showed that captive hyenas had lower levels for immune defenses than hyenas from the wild population that was used to establish the captive population. The Beng people believe that upon finding a freshly killed hyena with its anus inverted, one must plug it back in, for fear of being struck down with perpetual laughter. Sometimes, brown hyenas will stand their ground and raise their manes while emitting growls. [5] The spotted hyena is the largest known member of the Hyaenidae, and is further physically distinguished from other species by its vaguely bear-like build,[6] its rounded ears,[7] its less prominent mane, its spotted pelt,[8] its more dual purposed dentition,[9] its fewer nipples[10] and the presence of a pseudo-penis in the female. Spotted hyenas exhibit adult behaviours very early in life; cubs have been observed to ritually sniff each other and mark their living space before the age of one month. These animals are often not given much credit for their contribution to the ecosystem. Androgens and masculinization of genitalia in the spotted hyaena. At one point in their evolution, spotted hyenas developed sharp carnassials behind their crushing premolars; this rendered waiting for their prey to die no longer a necessity, as is the case for brown and striped hyenas, and thus became pack hunters as well as scavengers. The acidic digestion of spotted hyenas is adapted to extracting nutrients from bones, which causes the pale color of their feces. [115] In some instances they were seen to have taken on and routed two pride males while outnumbering them 5:1. [10][13] In this latter trait, the spotted hyena further show parallels with primates by acquiring rank through coalition. The odour of this secretion is very strong, smelling of boiling cheap soap or burning, and can be detected by humans several metres downwind. Studies strongly suggest convergent evolution in spotted hyena and primate intelligence. [161] Man-eating spotted hyenas tend to be very large specimens; a pair of man-eating hyenas, responsible for killing 27 people in Mlanje, Malawi, in 1962, were weighed at 72 and 77 kg (159 and 170 lb) after being shot. In contrast to the striped hyena, the ears of the spotted hyena are rounded rather than pointed. Once selected, their prey is chased over a long distance, often several kilometres, at speeds of up to 60 km/h. [21], From Classical antiquity until the Renaissance, the spotted and striped hyena were either assumed to be the same species, or distinguished purely on geographical, rather than physical grounds. [85] Females generally give birth at the communal den or a private birth den. Sir Walter Raleigh, in an attempt to rationalise how Noah's Ark could have fitted all extant species of animal, wrote that hyenas were hybrids between foxes and wolves which originated after the Great Flood. [18] The species has a largely negative reputation in both Western culture and African folklore. During the 20th century, Western and African stereotypes of the spotted hyena converged; in both Ernest Hemingway's Green Hills of Africa and Disney's The Lion King, the traits of gluttony and comical stupidity, common in African depictions of hyenas, are added to the Western perception of hyenas being cowardly and ugly. The higher androgen levels – the result of high concentrations of ovarian androstenedione – are thought to be responsible for the extreme masculinization of female behavior and morphology. Their auditory perception is powerful enough to detect sounds of predators killing prey or feeding on carcasses over distances of up to 10 km (6.2 mi). [68], The spotted hyena is a non-seasonal breeder, though a birth peak does occur during the wet season. But these hardy beasts are also skilled hunters that will take down wildebeest or antelope. The spotted hyena's scientific name Crocuta, was once widely thought to be derived from the Latin loanword crocutus, which translates as "saffron-coloured one", in reference to the animal's fur colour. This was proven to be incorrect, as the correct spelling of the loanword would have been Crocāta, and the word was never used in that sense by Graeco-Roman sources. Spotted hyenas consume all of their prey, including the bones. Crocuta crocuta, Spotted Hyena [English] Author(s)/Editor(s): Wilson, Don E., and F. Russell Cole : Publication Date: 2000 ... Any Name or TSN: Common Name: Scientific Name : TSN: In: Kingdom Go to Advanced Search and Report . Experienced hyenas even helped inexperienced clan-mates to solve the problem. The fur is relatively sparse and consists of two hair types; moderately fine underfur (measuring 15–20 mm (0.59–0.79 in)) and long, stout bristle hairs (30–40 mm (1.2–1.6 in)). [83], The clan's social life revolves around a communal den. [11], The spotted hyena is the most social of the Carnivora in that it has the largest group sizes and most complex social behaviours. Its success is due in part to its adaptability and opportunism; it is primarily a hunter but may also scavenge, with the capacity to eat and digest skin, bone and other animal waste. While some clans may use particular den sites for years, others may use several different dens within a year or several den sites simultaneously. In Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire and Senegal, the animals' whole body is harvested for bushmeat and medicine. In contrast, a lion's heart makes up only 0.45–0.57 percent of its body weight. They are fast and can run for long distances without tiring. In Dorze tradition, the highest Demuṣa-priests have the ability to control hyenas, and will send them to punish defaulting debtors. However, the striped and brown hyena occur at greater densities than the spotted species in desert and semi-desert regions. Dens are used mostly by several females at once, and it is not uncommon to see up to 20 cubs at a single site. Each foot has four digits, which are webbed and armed with short, stout and blunt claws. [61] Small prey is killed by being shaken in the mouth, while large prey is eaten alive. [54] Both partners usually lick their genitals for several minutes after mating. In fact, the Maasai people of Kenya and Tanzania actually leave their dead to be consumed by hyenas. [76] The average litter consists of two cubs, with three occasionally being reported. Chases are usually relatively slow, with an average speed of 15–30 km/h. It also carries protozoan parasites of the genus Hepatozoon in the Serengeti, Kenya and South Africa. [19], Natural historians of the 18th and 19th centuries rejected stories of hermaphroditism in hyenas, and recognised the differences between the spotted and striped hyena. In Mozambique, traditional healers use various spotted hyena body parts, particularly the paws. [151] An anecdotal 2004 news report from the World Wide Fund for Nature indicates that 35 people were killed by spotted hyenas during a 12-month period in Mozambique along a 20 km stretch of road near the Tanzanian border. The spotted hyena, also known as the laughing hyena, is a hyena species, currently classed as the sole member of the genus Crocuta, native to Sub-Saharan Africa. In Kenya's Masai Mara, 80% of the spotted hyena's prey consists of topi and Thomson's gazelle, save for during the four-month period when zebra and wildebeest herds migrate to the area. [64] However, rank in spotted hyena cubs is greatly dependent on the presence of the mother; low-ranking adults may act aggressively toward higher-ranking cubs when the mother is absent. The latter is primarily used by low status females in order to maintain continual access to their cubs, as well as ensure that they become acquainted with their cubs before transferral to the communal den. The Spotted Hyena is the largest of the hyena family which also includes the brown hyena, the striped hyena, and the aardwolf. [108] Spotted hyenas do not require much water, and typically only spend 30 seconds drinking. They are protected inside national parks, but are not tolerated elsewhere. Like cercopithecine primates, spotted hyenas use multiple sensory modalities, recognise individual conspecifics, are conscious that some clan-mates may be more reliable than others, recognise third-party kin and rank relationships among clan-mates, and adaptively use this knowledge during social decision making. A feature of many frontier farms was the wolwehok (hyena trap), which was roughly constructed from stone or wood and baited with meat. My Gym Partner's a Monkey. Crocuta actually comes from the Ancient Greek word Κροκόττας (Krokottas), which is derived from the Sanskrit koṭṭhâraka, which in turn originates from kroshṭuka (both of which were originally meant to signify the golden jackal). According to Mbugwe folklore, every witch possesses one or more hyenas, which are referred to as "night cattle" and are branded with an invisible mark. Namibian hyena populations are classed as lower risk in protected areas and threatened elsewhere. Though hyenas may harass the stallion, they usually only concentrate on the herd and attempt to dodge the stallion's assaults. Trichinella spiralis are found as cysts in hyena muscles. [23], The first detailed first-hand descriptions of the spotted hyena by Europeans come from Willem Bosman and Peter Kolbe. [7] European Paleolithic rock art depicting the species indicates that the Eurasian populations retained the spots of their modern-day African counterparts. These bestiaries almost invariably depict hyenas feeding on human corpses. An image in the Le Gabillou Cave in Dordogne shows a deeply engraved zoomorphic figure with a head in frontal view and an elongated neck with part of the forelimb in profile. [164] During the 1960s, Flying Doctors received over two dozen cases of hyena attacks on humans in Kenya. The spotted hyena also has its carnassials situated behind its bone-crushing premolars, the position of which allows it to crush bone with its premolars without blunting the carnassials. [14], The spotted hyena is a highly successful animal, being the most common large carnivore in Africa. Spotted Hyena. They react to alighting vultures more readily than other African carnivores, and are more likely to stay in the vicinity of lion kills or human settlements.[97]. This pattern continued until 1961 when eight people were killed. Hyenas are well known for the variety of vocal communication they use. Spotted hyenas have special vaulting to protect the skull against large forces and large jaw muscles. Their milk is the highest in terms of protein of any land carnivore. This partly stems from the Amharic word for hyena, ጅብ (jɨbb), which is linked to the Arabic word ذئب (dhiʾb) "wolf". Leo Africanus repeated some of the old concepts on the hyena, with the addition of describing its legs and feet as similar to those of men. [130] Greeting ceremonies among clan-members consist of two individuals standing parallel to each other and facing opposite directions. [72] Copulation in spotted hyenas is a relatively short affair,[70] lasting 4–12 minutes,[58] and typically only occurs at night with no other hyenas present. Pair bonds are formed chases at speeds of up to 2 metres ( 66 feet ) in width, spotted! 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