A spotted hyena's face

Spotted hyena

In spite of their reputation as cowardly scavengers, spotted hyenas are actually highly interesting and intelligent animals. They are efficient hunters that can bring down such large animals as buffalos and zebras. Powerful teeth and jaws enable them to crush and consume bones to get to the nutritious marrow, before the stomach's highly concentrated hydrochloric acid helps digest the bone. Spotted hyenas are often seen in female-dominated territorial groups called clans, in which all males are subordinate to all females. Males leave the clan when they reach adulthood, but females tend to stay and inherit their mother's rank.

Scientific name: Crocuta crocuta

Rank: Species

Common names:

Laughing hyena

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Distribution

The Spotted hyena can be found in a number of locations including: Africa. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.

Habitats

The following habitats are found across the Spotted hyena distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Decreasing

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

Classification

  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Mammals
  5. Carnivora
  6. Hyaenidae
  7. Crocuta
  8. Spotted hyena

BBC News about Spotted hyena

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