It’s not what it seems

Although many people compare hyenas to dogs, they are actually much more like cats, tigers, or lions. In fact, they are members of the Feliformia suborder, which includes cats.

Females are about three times larger than males, they are also much more muscular and aggressive. Spotted hyenas make many sounds, including one very similar to laughter which is used to communicate to other hyenas that food is available after hunting.

Hyenas have a very diverse diet and are both hunters and scavengers. In addition to eating the scraps of other predators, hyenas eat fish, birds, and insects, but they also have the ability to take down an antelope or a zebra when hunting in a group.

Fun facts

  • Hyenas live in a group called a clan dominated by the strongest female. Each clan can count up to 80 hyenas.
  • Spotted hyena pups are born with black fur and are so aggressive that they push the weaker sibling so that the mother cannot feed it.
  • Because their jaws and teeth are so strong, hyenas can tear skin, flesh, and crush bone with just a few bites.