Hyenas are very funny and fascinating animals and to many people they are known as scavengers. Although dog like in appearance and size, they are not from the dog family. They belong to the family hyenidae and there are different types living today. There are hyenas with stripes, hyenas with spots, brown hyenas, and aardwolves. Generally, hyenas are magnificent animals and they play an important role in any jungle.
The Hyena has a large head, large pointed ears and strong jaws filled with huge teeth commonly known to be very effective at crushing bone as they eat. The hyenas coat is mostly brown or golden. They have black stripes that run on their bodies to their legs. Along the black lines, there is mane that grows. Their muzzle, ears, and throat are entirely black. The hyena’s legs are their most striking feature. They have longer front limbs than their hind limbs and this gives them their limping gait as they walk or run.
Habitat and Diet
Hyenas are native to East Africa, Middle East and India. To ensure proper protection of their territories, hyenas use their scent to demarcate the borders of their territory. They have a sharp vision, powerful hearing, and a strong sense of smell and with these they do good patrols in their territory at night.
The hyena’s jaws are powerful and they have strong teeth too that signifies that they are carnivorous animals. Although they scavenge most of the time, hyenas have good skills at hunting and they have all it takes to bring down a fairly large prey.
Hyenas live in small groups of one dominant female who is more aggressive, outranking the malls in the pack. At day time they rest out in their caves. Not much is known about their secluded family life. Their cubs are typically born in seasons of plenty food. After a three-month gestation, the mother finds a cave to give birth. In most cases the hyenas give birth to four cubs. At birth, these cubs are helpless and they stay for 5 to 9 days with their eyes closed.
The hyena’s cubs taste their first solid food at about one month old when their mother brings back food to the den. Before they are good hunters the young hyenas stay with their mothers to learn the art of hunting and survival techniques in the jungle. But immediately they turn two, they leave their mothers to start up their territories. At this time they would have learnt all the skills they require to survive.
Hyenas are very sensitive to sound and they can hear sounds we cannot hear as human beings. This is one of their adaptations that help them in finding their predators.
According to most people from different parts of the globe, hyenas are distasteful, ugly and disgusting animals. But to some extent this isn’t true. Those who have closely studied hyenas have a different opinion. To them they know how cooperative intelligent and social these animals are