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Spotted Hyena societies are more complex than those of other carnivorous mammals and have been reported to be remarkably similar to those of cercopithecine primates in respect to group size, structure, competition, and cooperation. One indication of hyena intelligence is that they will move their killed prey closer together to protect them from scavengers. Another indication is their strategic hunting methods.

Overview of the Hyena

Overview of the Hyena

10 to 12 million years ago, the hyena family had split into two distinct groups: the dog-like hyenas and the bone-crushing hyenas. The dog-like hyenas died out, but the bone-crushing hyenas lived on. The strength of hyenas jaws is such that both striped and spotted hyenas have been recorded to kill dogs with a single bite to the neck, without breaking the skin. The spotted hyena is known for its strong bite proportional to its size, but several animals, like the Tasmanian devil, have a proportionally stronger bite. Hyenas are frequently associated with dogs. However, they have many cat-like habits. Surprisingly, their closest living relative is the mongoose.

Hyenas live in clans that are dominated by a matriarch, and her female cubs will often become the future leader of the clan. Hyena cubs will often try to kill each other; they are the only known animal to commit fratricide. Hyenas are territorial animals, and will fight over their territory and its boundaries with other hyena clans and even lion prides.Hyenas use their large numbers and the confusion and chaos caused by large numbers, to win battles.

The striped hyena is primarily a scavenger, although it will occasionally attack and kill any animal it can overcome. It also supplement its diet with fruits. The spotted hyena occasionally scavenges, and is also an active pack hunter.

About the Author
Jacob Maddox manages content for Wildlife Animals an educational wildlife and animal website. Jacob also guest writes for Dog Pound

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