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Nothing is wasted with the hyena—even bones and hooves are consumed

Hyenas are carnivores that are known for their scavenger tendencies. They are clever animals and have been reported to have figured out how to invade complex human food storages. Though purported to be primarily scroungers, hyenas, particularly spotted hyenas, kill nearly all of the nourishment they consume, and have chased away larger predators, such as lions, from their kills. Three species of hyena are recognized: spotted hyena (the largest), brown hyena and striped hyena. There is also the aardwolf, which is the smallest of the hyenas and not always included in the classification of hyenas. Aardwolves live off a diet of termites.

Although hyenas hunt in packs and are more active at night, they are genetically closer to felines than to canines. Hyenas live in packs called clans that can reach 80-90 animals in size. The clans are dominated by female hyenas that, when ready to breed, have a preference younger males. The average gestation period for hyenas is between 90 and 110 days, depending on specie, with the average litter size being two cubs.


World hyena day is celebrated on 27 April.


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