ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Fierce Creatures: The Hyena

Updated on November 8, 2013

The Hyena is a dog like animal that is predominately found in savannas, woodlands, grasslands, forest edges, sub-deserts and even mountainous terrains. They are also one of nature's more unique creations both in looks and sizes.

Physical Characteristics:

Most hyenas are 28 to 35 inches tall and they weigh 90 to 190 pounds. This makes them very short and stocky animals. They are often considered wolf-like in their build with the exception of their high shoulders which slope downward toward their hind end. They also have a long mane of hair that runs from their withers to their head. They have a smaller snout than other "canines". The female spotted hyena is often taller and larger than the male. The female is also the more dominant.


Their teeth are designed to consume coarse food and to break bones. Their upper teeth are very strong and they are also shifted back so that they get the most force out of their jaws they can. It has been reported that the strength in the jaws is so strong that they can kill a large dog with one single bite to the neck and it can be done without ever breaking the skin on the dog's neck.

If you happen to see one using the bathroom you will notice how unique they are in the fact that they do not raise their legs as other dogs do. They are also prone to cleaning themselves much the same as a cat would but they do not clean their face.

Breeding Habits

It is difficult to tell a female from a male though the female do have female genitals though they do look similar in that area to the male. It is believed that the female may look more "manly" so that they can protect their young by appearing stronger and more dominate. This is useful since they are the primary caregivers of their young and some male hyenas may attack and eat the younger cubs.


Gestation is between 90 to 110 days and usually they will have two to four cubs. The babies are born with their eyes opened and this sets them apart from most all other animals. The cubs may nurse on their mom for up to 18 months old due to the fact that hyenas eat their food where they kill it and pups do not go on long hunts until they are about one year old. However, they do start to eat things that are killed near their den at 5 months. If the mother goes out to hunt, another female babysitter will sit with the cubs to watch over them at the den and protect them from predators.


They are most often seen as cowardly or timid in nature but they are also able to bold and dangerous if they choose to attack another animal or even a human. In the wild hyenas are very family oriented with the exception of when the males cannibalize the young cubs. They live in large groups of family members and their goal in life is to protect their clan and they are very sociable within their clan. They usually mark their territory and in the center and the highest point is where you will find their den.



Hyenas will eat virtually anything they can. When they make a kill, there is often nothing left the next morning. They consume bones, hair and even hooves of other animals. This being said, they do not require a lot of water to drink even with their shady diet and all of their food gets digested except for hair, horns and hooves. These are spit out in the form of pellets. They eat mostly meat and other animals; however they do eat vegetation as well. Some campers also report that hyenas will also eat pots and pans though this has not been proven.


Dens have an above ground entrance that leads underground and into a series of tunnels. These dens are used for raising young and protecting the clans young when something or someone threatens their territory.

When one hyena finds food or makes a fresh kill, they can call to others in their clan. The howling screams, wailing calls and even their laughter can be heard for up to three miles away.


In captivity they can live up to 25 years. In the wild their largest threat is humans, lions and other hyenas and this makes it nearly impossible to guess how long they may live in the wild. If they are attacked by one of their treats or harmed while trying to capture food for their clan to eat, they may die at a very young age.


Submit a Comment

  • tillsontitan profile image

    Mary Craig 

    5 years ago from New York

    Excellent hub! You've covered everything, even things I might not have wanted to know ;) Seriously this is well done with good pictures and video. They look like such harmless animals but we definitely know better.

    Voted up, useful, and interesting.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)