Hyena

Hyenas are some of the most feared predators living on the plain. Even though they are only the size or the common wolf, they have a secret weapon. A Hyenas jaw pressure lengendary, in Africa it is surpassed only by that of the Nile Crocodiles. Surprising for an animal whose closest relative is the mongoose.

Hyaenidae

Although these mildly terestrial creatures bear some reseblence to wild dogs they are actually closer relatives to the Mongoose. These predators live in bands of near 100 memembers. The have an enlarged heart and lungs which allow them to chase pray for long distances without tiring. They may weigh anywhere from 55 to 120 lb. Their fur is usually brown except in the case of the speckled hyena

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Hyenas will feed on nearly any source of meat. They often find themselves competing with Lions for prey whether it be dead or alive. They will not approach a lion pride without great numbers. It takes four hyenas to chase off a female lion. It takes six hyneas to even approach an male lion. Unlike most animals, in the hyena's social structure females rule the the packs. They are larger than males and often see see their counterparts as a nuisance, finding them only neccessary for hunting and breeding. They usually make thier home in burrows in the earth, which is where they rear their pups.

By Marcel Raphael.
Voice over by Dr. Brian Child, associate professor of the Department of Geography in the University of Florida.
Copyright 2006.