Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Anatomy - Spotted Hyena (Croctura Croctura)

'Spotted hyenas are the largest members of the hyena family. They are dog-like animals with a sloping body, as their front legs are longer than their hind legs. They have a short, sandy coat, covered with dark brown spots on the body and legs. Females have enlarged sexual organs, which are difficult to distinguish from the males'. These are displayed in meeting ceremonies, which reinforce social bonds and hierarchies.
As well as scavenging, spotted hyenas hunt medium to large hoofed mammals. They are efficient hunters, and as well as targeting young antelope, they are also capable of bringing down animals as large as buffaloes and zebras. They consume about 3-6kg of meat daily. They have extremely powerful teeth and jaws allowing them to crush bones and feed on the nutritious marrow inside. They have highly concentrated hydrochloric acid inside their stomachs allowing them to digest bones. As well as meat and bone, spotted hyenas supplement this with fruits, eggs and invertebrates.
Spotted hyenas are often seen in groups called clans, which can range in size from 5-80 members. They are female-dominated - all males are subordinate to all of the females. Males leave the clan that they were born in when they reach adulthood, but females tend to stay and inherit their mother's rank. The clan defends a territory from intruders, and the territory can range in size from 40-1000 sq km. Spotted hyenas are most active at night.'

1 comment:

  1. Quite ironic that your covered in freckles :)