Critter Science

The Science of Animals


Laughing Hyena? What’s So Funny?

The spotted hyena, also known as the laughing hyena, is native to Sub-Saharan Africa. When people think of hyenas, they typically think of laughing calls and a voracious appetite! They are also fiercely competitive and have extremely powerful jaws! They live in grasslands, savannas, sub-deserts, and forests of Africa and Asia. Read more about these fascinating critters.

First the Stats…

Scientific name: Crocuta crocuta
Height: 2.3 – 3 ft
Weight: 90 – 140 lbs.
Lifespan: Up to 12 years (in the wild) | Up to 20 years (in captivity)

Now on to the Facts!

1.) The hyena will hunt prey animals and also eat carrion.

2.) Hyenas live in large territorial packs that can have up to 80 members.

3.) They are nocturnal (awake at night) and this is when they hunt.

4.) Female hyenas are larger and more dominant.

5.) These critters mark their territory via terrible smelling white droppings produced from their anal ducts.

But wait, there’s more on the hyena!

6.) The hyena uses a variety of postures, stances, and calls to communicate with other members of their pack.

7.) Typically, the characteristic “laugh” of the hyena is a signal to the other members that food has been found.

Did you know…?
A hyena’s bite exudes 1,000 psi (4,450 newtons) of force, which is strong enough to crush a femur!

8.) Hyenas have been documented as being cannibalistic. If food is really scarce they will turn on the young and weak!

9.) Cubs have been observed fighting each other in order to establish dominance and achieve the best order in the feeding chain. This fight sometimes ends up in a fatality.

10.) The female gives birth to 2 – 4 cubs and cares for them for about 4 weeks.

Now a Short Hyena Video! (Don’t try this at home!!!)

Learn more about all kinds of cool critters here.

Be sure to comment below!

Critter Man

With over 40 years of critter experience to my credit and hundreds of zoology teaching hours to people around the world, I have amassed not only a continuing thirst for critter knowledge but a desire to teach others all I can about the majesty and wonder of our natural world. Critter Science is a culmination of such knowledge.I have hands on as well as book acquired intel on all kinds of critters. Whether they're on land, sea, or air.I will never say that I know everything about all animals. That's impossible, even for a savant. But, that being said, ask me any animal question and I'll answer it. If I don't know the answer, I'll get an answer for you!Let it be said that I have been oft times accused of loving animals more than I love people. I can neither confirm nor deny this.

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