Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta)
‘Ugly’, ‘cowardly’, ‘thieving’… It seems that nobody has anything good to say about Africa’s commonest large carnivore, the spotted hyena. Look beyond the popular prejudice, however, and you’ll find a complex, efficient and versatile predator, with some fascinating secrets...
5 Fascinating Facts About the Spotted Hyena
- A female spotted hyena’s external genitalia resemble a male’s and includes a ‘pseudopenis’, through which she urinates, copulates and gives birth. This explains why ancient civilizations believed hyenas to be hermaphrodites.
- Spotted hyenas suckle their young for up to 18 months – much longer than most carnivores.
- A spotted hyena’s heart is twice the weight of a lion’s, in proportion to its body mass. This gives it enough stamina to pursue its prey for up to 5 km.
- A spotted hyena’s jaws are the strongest of any mammal. They can exert 40% more bite force than a leopard and are able to crack open the femur of a giraffe.
- The Maasai people of East Africa traditionally left out their dead to be consumed by spotted hyenas.
A wildlife adventure
The sights and sounds of African wildlife will stay with you long after you return home from your first safari adventure. There is so much to see, and so little time to see it all! When you fall in love with Africa, you'll want to to visit again and again. At SafariBookings, we can help you choose and book your safari tour. We can also provide you with information on what to expect when you arrive at your safari destination. With even the best laid plans, expect the unexpected. And, remember, a little spontaneity is a good thing. Prepare to be enthralled.
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