Sunday, August 29, 2010
ABC Wednesday: H is for Hyena
Things everybody knows about spotted Hyenas: they are scavengers who don't hunt for themselves, they are cowards and they laugh. One of those things is true.
Spotted hyneas do make a weird laughing sound that is audible for miles, the other species don't. As for the rest of the things everybody knows: hyenas are good hunters and will even take on lions when it comes to a fight over food. They do take leftovers from other predators and they can crack and digest even big bones. They will also spot vultures landing somewhere and follow them.
Spotted hyenas live in huge groups of up to 80 individuals that are led by females. They are very social and know each other well, they also work together to solve problems and will teach others how to do it.
This is a Brown Hyena, the rarest of all Hyena species. They mostly are scavengers and are aggressive enough to challenge leopards for their kill. In German, they are sometimes called Strandwolf, beach wolf, because they live in costal areas and will prey on seal cubs there.
Their clans are much smaller than those of the spotted Hyena, usually two adult with their offspring. If there are more than one litter in the group, every member will take food back to the young. Here's a photo of a puppy - absolutely adorable.
All pictures were taken at Tierpark Berlin, one of the very few zoos to keep both species.
Find out what else H stands for with ABC Wednesday