On this page of Interesting Africa Facts we list information about the Hyena. This famed scavenger and hunter is one of the many amazing animals found in Africa. You
will find information on how it survives, where it lives, and why it makes a sound that sounds like a laugh. This information is written for both kids and adults.
Basic Hyena Facts
The four species of Hyenas are spotted, stripe, brown, and aardwolf.
Hyenas are generally nocturnal.
Despite their small size hyenas are one of Africas most lethal animals. Occasionally even attacking humans.
Ancient Egyptians domesticated hyenas and raised them for food.
Hyenas can survive several days without water.
Hyenas may look like some what like dogs but they are more closely related to cats.
Spotted Hyena Facts
This species is the largest of the Hyena species. They range from 135 to 155 pounds (62 to 70 Kilograms) with the females being larger than the males.
They make numerous sounds including the famous laughing sound. This laugh is made to express fear or to indicate submission to a senior member of their clan.
They are approximately 4.25 feet (1.3 meters) long.
The female of this species are dominant over the males.
These Hyenas have extremely strong jaws capable of bighting through bones.
The Spotted Hyenas life expectancy is about twelve years.
They live in large groups (clans) which can include as many as eighty individuals.
Although primarily scavengers they will kill animals for food this includes large prey such as antelope.
The coat of the Spotted Hyena is a sandy grey or brown color and has black spots.
Striped Hyena Facts
Striped Hyenas are approximately 3.6 feet long (1.1 meters).
They weigh between 77 and 88 pounds (35 and 40 kilograms).
Their fur is grey or pale brown and they have vertical stripes on their sides.
Striped Hyenas have a bushy tail and a mane.
Striped Hyenas have a keen sense of vision, smell, and hearing.
Sometimes they will form small groups but are generally solitary animals.
Their natural habitats are the savannahs, grasslands, mountainous areas and woodlands of Africa (north, west, and east) and south and west Asia.
This animals life expectancy is 10 - 12 years in the wild.
Brown Hyena Facts
Brown Hyenas are approximately 4.25 feet long (1.3 meters).
They weigh between 84 and 105 pounds (38 and 47 kilograms).
They have dark brown fur with lighter brown on their neck.
Their natural habitats are the savannahs, grasslands and semi-deserts located in the southern parts of Africa. In fact they are the best adapted of the Hyena species for survival in the desert.
Brown Hyenas live for approximately 12 years.
These Hyenas form clans of between four and fifteen individuals. Males will usually leave the clan they were born into and join a different clan.
Aardwolf Hyena Facts
These Hyenas weigh between 17.6 and 22 pounds (8 - 10 Kilograms).
Aardwolves are between 22 and 31.5 inches (55 and 80 centimeters).
The Aardwolf inhabits the grassy plains of South and East Africa.
They live for about 12 years.
They have yellowish white fur with dark stripes on their sides and legs. There is a mane of hair on their back.
This African Hyenas diet is mainly termites. They also eat other insects and will occasionally eat small animals.