Spotted Hyena

Crocuta crocuta

Food: They are carnivorous animals that hunt herbivores such as gazelles, zebras, wildebeests, baby giraffes, hippos, etc. and are also scavengers, feeding on animal remains. They can consume 3 to 6 kg of meat per day.

Reproduction: Males can mate with multiple females all year round. Females have a pseudo penis that attaches to the male’s penis during mating. The gestation period for females is 4 months and they can give birth to up to 3 cubs. Mothers have their young in burrows underground and they begin to eat regurgitated meat at 5 months but continue to suckle until 1 year and 3 months.

Distribution and Habitat: Sub-Saharan Africa. Savannah.

Behavior: The spotted hyena is a highly social and intelligent species that lives in matriarchal groups, meaning the females are in charge. They form family groups of 3 to 90 individuals. Hyenas’ “laughter” only happens when they are stressed (example: when they have to escape from other hyenas or other animals such as lions). Females remain in their original groups while juvenile males disperse to other groups when they reach 2 years of age. They have a very developed jaw, allowing them to easily break and ingest the bones of their prey.

Conservation Status: Least Concern


Scientific name: Crocuta crocuta

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: Hyaenidae

Dimensions: 1.20 – 1.50 m long

Weight: males 45-60kg; females 55-70kg

Longevity: In the wild they live up to 20 years and in captivity up to 25.

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