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Hyena (Crocuta Crocuta)Hyena (Crocuta Crocuta)Hyena (Crocuta Crocuta)A Hyena (Crocuta Crocuta) at Colchester Zoo, UK.Hyena (Crocuta Crocuta)
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Hyena Facts

Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
A group of animals within a family
Scientific Name:
The name of the animal in science
Crocuta Crocuta
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
63.5-89cm (28-35in)
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
41-86kg (90-190lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
60km/h (37mph)
How long the animal lives for
20-25 years
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Brown, Tan, Black
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Favourite Food:
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
Open savanna plains and grassland
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from
Wildebeest, Monkey, Birds
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Lion, Leopard, Crocodile
Special Features:
Characteristics unique to this animal
Long front legs and laugh like calls

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Hyena Location

Map of Hyena Locations
Map of Africa


The hyena is a carnivorous dog-like species of animal, native to parts of both Africa and Asia. There are four known species of hyena, the spotted hyena, the striped hyena, the brown hyena and the aardwolf.

Hyenas are scavenger mammals meaning that the hyena tends to eat another animal's kill, rather than the hyena actually catching its own food. The hyena is well known for its cackling laugh-like scream, which the hyena is believed to use in order to alert other hyenas of a source of food. This hyena call is thought to be able to be heard by other hyenas for up to three miles.

The hyena is a remarkably intelligent animal. Hyenas are thought to be comparable to primates and humans in the evolutionary status of the hyena's brain.

All four hyena species have a bear-like stance as the front legs of a hyena are longer than the back legs of a hyena. The striped hyena, the brown hyena and the aardwolf all have a striped mane on the top of the hyena's neck that stands up when the hyena is frightened. The main of a spotted hyena is considerably shorter and appears to stand on end the majority of the time.

Despite the hyenas once large range across Africa and parts of Asia and Europe, all four hyena species are today found mostly in the African Savannah. The only exception to this is that the striped hyena is often seen roaming in the jungles of India, and western Asia.

The hyena is said to be one of the most abundant large carnivores on the African continent and the hyena is often viewed as an irritant by other large carnivores who actually make a kill that is then stolen by a hyena pack.

The only animal that will hunt and kill a hyena intentionally is a human being. Humans and hyenas have a long history of conflict ranging from hyenas killing livestock for an easy meal and the fact that humans used to believe that hyenas were related to witchcraft and supernatural activity, naturally making the human very wary of the hyena.

Hyenas group together in packs with the den of the hyena pack generally being in the centre of their territory. The hyena pack will tend to hunt for food as a group and the hyena is exceptionally strong jaws in relation to the body size of the hyena.

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First Published: 10th November 2008, Last Updated: 21st January 2020

1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. David W. Macdonald, Oxford University Press (2010) The Encyclopedia Of Mammals [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2010]
4. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]
5. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
6. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]