Hyena

Hyenas - Hyaenas Crocuta Crocuta – Have a bad reputation as being opportunistic scavengers. They do scavenge, but it should be noted that they are also formidable hunters – In fact depending on their surroundings and the amount of success other predators have (From whom they will happily take prey) up to 95% of what they eat could be hunted by the pack. This pack hunting technique is what also makes them so successful. They will form a pack and hunt by tearing pieces of flesh from their prey, targeting major arteries. The prey will die from blood loss and shock rather than a lethal strike. They will target small to big prey ranging from rodents to prey as large as Burchell’s zebra and baby elephants.

They live together in a pack, known as a clan which is dominated by the females. This is a social clan and has a complex hierarchy. At birth Hyenas are born with open eyes and fully erupted teeth. Reproduction is a complex, painful process. Females are equipped with tube-like sexual organs which they extend by curling them up and backwards to reach the males internal sex organs. When giving birth, the young will be passed through this tube and in the process this tube often ruptures causing severe bleeding and can result in death.

Shortly after birth sibling rivalry will start with dominance of the one sibling over the other being established, this rivalry often (and most occurring when there are 2 females in the litter) results in the death of one of the siblings with up to 25% of the young dying because of this siblicide. Males are usually only tolerated in the clan until around the time they reach sexual maturity and then usually leave the clan joining another clan. The lowest ranking females will dominate the highest-ranking males.

Hyena laughter is anything but funny. One should be very weary of a Hyena when they make the notorious laughing sound. This is an indication of excitement and adrenalin pumping through their systems and it indicates that they are on the hunt.

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