Are Hyenas Friendly Or Dangerous to Humans?
Hyenas are unique species. They hunt prey, scavenge for meat, and are capable of lying. In this article, we’ll look at the behavior of a spotted hyena, which is not dangerous to humans.
Hyenas are highly social animals in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Even though you’re most likely to spot these canines in groups of two or three, in reality, they often live as solitary creatures. These large mammals are known to be scary-looking with their sharp teeth and pronounced forehead. On the other hand, some have said that hyenas are one of the friendliest members of the carnivore family and will approach humans if they seem safe enough to do so – even if you smell like a walked-in cubicle farm.
Hyenas are social animals that often live in groups but tend to be solitary when they aren’t hunting.
5 to 6 feet tall
Carnivores that are trained to hunt, hyenas have been known to go after poultry and small livestock.
Young hyenas have soft fur, while adults have a thick and shaggy coat with two types – a colored undercoat and a guard hair that’s gray or brown. The undercoat is white or cream-colored, while the guard hair is gray, black, brown, or reddish.
Strange Facts About Hyenas
The average adult weighs between 20-45 pounds.
Some hyenas have two types of anal glands that secrete a strong-smelling odor. The stronger one is used during greetings; the other is used during the territorial defense.
Scientists once believed hyenas were a link between modern carnivores and their prehistoric ancestors, but we now know they’re more closely related to felines than dogs.
Hyenas walk with their hind legs straight, and elbows close together, indicating that they are mighty animals.
These carnivores use their large ears to regulate their body temperatures. The ears open up when the hyena is hot and then close when it’s cooler outside.
The world’s giant hyena is a male named Gepetto. His size is about the same as that of a miniature horse.
In 1826, Jim Corbett, an Indian hunter, helped to capture the enormous lion ever recorded in Africa. The weight of this beast was 3 tons when Corbett died, and he measured 7 feet tall at the shoulder.
In 1950 in Kenya, a group of researchers was hunting for leopards when they flushed out a family of hyenas fleeing the two lions the men had been following. The three hyenas walked toward one of the researchers while holding their ears up and grunting threateningly – but they didn’t attack him or his colleagues.
Spotted Hyenas are Mighty Hunters
Despite their small size, spotted hyenas are mighty hunters. They hunt in packs of two to five individuals and defend their territory using calls and scent marking to distinguish their territories. They can kill prey, including fish, birds, and small hoofed animals. Although they are mighty hunters, they share some traits with other large cats.
Spotted hyenas form solid social groups called clans. Clans consist of one hundred to one hundred members. They live in a matriarchal society where the female alpha rules the clan. Females are much bigger and more assertive than males. They are ranked higher than the highest adult male, and female cubs are always given priority over males. Males are forced to live on the periphery and only join the clan during hunts and fights.
The social life of spotted hyenas revolves around a communal den. A pregnant spotted hyena moves her cubs to the den when they are about a month old. The den is a complex structure with several entrances and tunnels dug by the cubs. The dens also wear out the ground around them. The cubs stay in the communal den for at least eight months, and the mother will stay with her cubs until they are about one year old. It is estimated that about half of the spotted hyenas young will die before they are fully mature.
In addition to hunting, spotted hyenas are also influential singers. Their vocal repertoire is unique among carnivores. For example, a spotted hyena’s laugh is not the same as a wolf’s but is instead an expression of social anxiety. They also make a loud whoop sound that travels more than three miles.
They Scavenge for Meat
Hyenas are scavengers who eat dead livestock. According to studies, one hyena can consume up to 983 kilograms of dead livestock annually. In Mekelle, 210 hyenas consumed 4.2 percent of available animal carcasses in 2019. Researchers estimate that hyenas have prevented the transmission of several diseases, including bovine tuberculosis and anthrax, and have saved farmers up to $50,000 in livestock costs.
Hyenas are primarily scavengers, although striped hyenas can eat large carcasses. They are often found on the outskirts of human settlements and adapt their feeding habits to fit in. However, in more populated areas, they may conflict with humans. In addition to scavenging for meat, hyenas also eat local farm produce. They may also scavenge roadkill.
Hyenas may look friendly to humans, but they are traditional carnivores. Although the lone hyena is known for its fondness for dead animals, hyena packs hunt antelope and may steal meat from other carnivores. In addition to meat, hyenas scavenge for plants, paper, and other materials.
Hyenas live in urban areas in Africa. Their proximity to humans has increased their population there. Some researchers are studying the relationship between humans and hyenas. Hyenas make various vocalizations. Their cubs often stay close to their mothers.
They have no External Vaginal Opening
Hyenas have no external vagina, requiring a pseudo-penis in the female to give birth and urinate. As a result, female spotted hyenas may die during birth, as a tenth of first-born hyenas dies during birth. In addition, the birth canal is twice the length of other similar-sized mammals and includes a hairpin turn halfway down. As a result, the birth process is incredibly complicated. Despite a large amount of pain and discomfort, the hyena birthing process can be a difficult and painful experience for the mother and her cub.
Female spotted hyenas have a pseudo-scrotum and clitoris that resembles the male penis. Their penis is also shaped similarly to the males. In addition, their penis has androgen-producing tissue, and their reproductive system is similar to males. Hyenas also have erectile capabilities, similar to males.
Male spotted hyenas also have a penile clitoris. This resembles a phallus and serves as a signal to the other female. This phenomenon has led to the myth of the hermaphrodite. However, hyenas may have no external vaginal opening, which would make them virilized.
During the nonerect state, male hyenas often display erections. The male hyena must squat on the female’s rear and stab at her pseudo-penis before inserting the actual penis. This process requires complete cooperation from the female. Without her cooperation, the male hyena will not have sex. The female’s pseudo-penis may also serve as an anti-rape device.
They can “Lie” as Well as Humans
Hyenas are known to be very deceitful and can “lie” just as well as humans. These sly felines may even use deception to lure naive animals as far as they can. They also trick their prey into thinking they’re in the right place and then sneak back to where they were earlier.
In one experiment, Kruuk and Schaller studied hyenas in the presence of lions. At first, they assumed the hyenas were waiting for prey to come to them. However, their findings proved that they were actively battling over their prey and trying to protect their territory from a nearby lion. Moreover, hyenas are well-known for destroying human gravesites since they prefer to feed on rotting carcasses.
Some hyenas can be pretty cunning, often concealing parts of their corpses underwater. This allows them to avoid detection by vultures, flies, and predators. As long as the corpse is hidden beneath the water, the hyenas won’t be caught!
Another example of cunning is the hyena’s nocturnal behavior. A male hyena has been reported to provide food to a cub that is unrelated to it. This behavior has been called reciprocal altruism. While it isn’t fully understood, it’s a fascinating idea.
They are Environmentally Friendly
Although hyenas are classified as predators, they are not dangerous to humans. Unlike cats, which are dangerous because they hunt and kill their prey, hyenas do not pose a threat to humans. Some of them are even beneficial to the environment. Their hunting strategy involves testing their prey for the long game.
Most people will never see a hyena in the street. They go in at night and stay hidden from humans. They also clean up bones and scraps left in dumps and drainage ditches. Despite their reputation, hyenas are a great addition to the environment.
The spotted hyena is an example of an eco-friendly predator. They can survive in most habitats and are common throughout the world. They are found in subdeserts and mountains up to four thousand meters. They can be extremely helpful in monitoring a variety of ecological factors. Hyenas are valuable members of the predator guild and may be beneficial in monitoring human behavior.
Hyenas form strong bonds with their clan mates and often stay together for many years. They hunt large prey together and defend the kill from other predators. Unlike other carnivores, hyenas are highly social. Their social learning system helps them adapt to changing environments. Hyenas also travel in small groups, including mothers with their young.
They are Dangerous to Humans
Hyenas are dangerous to humans for several reasons. For one thing, they are highly efficient hunters. The oldest hyena in captivity lived to 28 years old. Second, they are aggressive. Hyenas are likely to attack humans, and humans must protect their homes and property.
Hyenas are much giant than people think. They can weigh as much as 190 pounds and have jaws that can easily crush bones. Their instinct is to hunt live prey, but they also will scavenge dead animals and rubbish. In addition, hyenas will chase anything that runs away, so be prepared for this.
Hyena attacks on humans are sporadic, but they can happen. These attacks often occur during the summer when food and water supply are low. However, they are mainly harmless when they are not threatened. During the winter, they usually avoid humans altogether, so people should not worry about their safety.
Early naturalists believed that hyenas were hermaphrodites and the result of dog-wolf mating. Unfortunately, this view led to an association between hyenas and deviant sexual behavior.