Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta)
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The spotted, or laughing, hyena, it's coarse, woolly coat is grayish yellow with round dark spots. Its well-known calls include the evening howl for food and the eerie "laugh" during the mating season or when the animal is otherwise excited.
Probably no other living mammal has such powerful jaws in relation to its size. This hyena is strong enough to carry the body of a gnu. It was once thought that carrion was the principal food of hyenas, but they are skillful at hunting and killing prey.
Recent studies in Tanzania have shown that hyenas largely kill their own food, up to 93 percent of their diet in the Ngorongoro Crater. They can crush and consume the largest bones of such animals as cattle and buffalo. Traditionally, warring African tribes left their dead for the hyenas to eat.
Hyenas shelter in holes in the ground or among rocks and in dense vegetation. One to six young are born in a litter.
Height: 77 cm
Weight: M 63 kg; F 70 kg
Habitat: Varied grassland, or woodland and semi desert
Food: Carrion and also hunt (carnivorous)/scavengers