Many people, thanks to the animated film (and the recently released film) The Lion King, consider hyenas to be scavengers and cowardly creatures, and meanwhile, they are the most successful predators of the African continent.
In this article I will try to give interesting facts from the life of hyenas that will forever change your opinion about these amazing creatures.
Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta)
Fact No. 1. Hyenas – relatives of cats
Many people think that hyenas are distant relatives of dogs. But this is not so. Hyenas are closer to cats, not dogs. The predatory mammalian order ( Carnivora) consists of two suborders: dog-shaped ( Caniformia ) and cat -shaped ( Feliformia ). So the hyena family is cat-like.
Fact No. 2. Hyenas are not scavengers
Most people consider the spotted hyena a scavenger. However, modern research has proven that this is the most successful hunter of the African savannah. Success rate is approximately 80%. For comparison, in lions this indicator is only 50%. Approximately 90% of all its food is obtained by the hyena itself. And only 10% are carrion.
Fact No. 3. Hyena – Africa’s toughest predator
Hyenas possess unique physical data that allows them to hunt animals weighing from 0 to 180 kilograms. Predators have incredible stamina and can chase a victim at a speed of 60 km / h at a distance of up to five kilometers!
Fact No. 4. The incredible power of the jaws
Another mechanism that promotes successful hunting is the incredible strength of the jaws. According to this indicator, hyena is among the ten strongest, demonstrating an impressive 80 kgf / cm² (for comparison, in humans this figure is 11 kgf / cm²). Even newborn hyenas can safely bite the hand of an adult.
Fact No. 5. Hyenas have matriarchy
Spotted hyenas live in clans in which females rule. After only a few days of age, the females begin the battle for power, with frequent deaths (we remember that the jaws are strong from birth). What is noteworthy: future male queens do not touch the cubs.
The clan has a strict hierarchy in which the most “lowered” female is still higher than the most successful male.
That’s it. Well how? Did I manage to change your mind about the spotted hyena? Hope so.