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Interesting Facts About Hyenas:

  • Hyenas vary in size. Largest are spotted hyenas with 35 inches in height and 90 pounds in weight. Smallest are aardwolves with 20 inches in height and 60 pounds in weight.
  • Females are larger and more dominant than males.
  • Hyenas live in territorial and large clans that can consist of up to 80 members. Aardwolves are solitary animals that gather only during mating season.
  • They are both hunters and scavengers (they eat carrions).
  • Aardwolf eats termites.
  • They are nocturnal animals (hunt at night).
  • Hyenas mark their territory with white droppings produced in the anal gland. This substance has a strong smell and it informs other hyenas that territory is already occupied.
  • Hyenas use various sounds, postures and signals to communicate with each other.
  • One of the most characteristic sounds that hyena produce is laughter. This sound alerts other hyenas that new food source is located.
  • Worst enemies of hyenas are lions and hunting dogs. Hyenas are cannibals. They may attack and eat other hyenas, especially when they are young.
  • Male and female hyenas look alike and have very similar genitals, but they are not hermaphrodites (animals that may act both as males and as females at the same time). Only female hyena gives birth and takes care of her cubs.
  • After mating season, it takes 90-110 days for babies to be born. One female gets 2-4 cubs and she takes care of them in the “natal den” (special den reserved only for mother with cubs) for 4 weeks.
  • Cubs fight with each other to establish dominance and achieve best feeding position or desired order of feeding. This fight might end up fatally.
  • Mother feeds cubs with milk 12-18 month, but they will start eating meat as soon as they reach 5th month.
  • Hyenas live 10-12 years in the wild and up to 25 years in captivity.