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Hyaenidae - aardwolf, hyenas

HyenaThere are four species in this family. They have rounded ears; long, bushy tails; large heads; and powerful jaws. Their front legs are longer than their rear legs. The females in this family are larger than the males. Three species in this family have stripes or spots. Three of the species in this family hunt and scavenge for food. The fourth species, the aardwolf, eats termites. The species in this family live in packs that are dominated by a female.

The striped hyena is found in northern Africa in dry savannas and rocky deserts. It is smaller than the spotted hyena. It is about 4 feet in length and weighs about 120 pounds. It has a brownish-gray coat with black stripes. It has a dark crest on its back and black stripes on its legs. It hunts for food at night, usually alone or in pairs. It eats small mammals, birds, reptiles, and carrion.

The brown hyena is found in Africa from Angola to Mozambique and south to Northern South Africa. It lives in the dry savanna. It has striped legs, long brown fur, and a mane of lighter brown fur on its neck and shoulders. It hunts at night for small mammals, birds, and carrion.

HyenaThe spotted hyena is the largest member of this family and is known for its laughing call. It is found in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is usually found in open habitats. It is 2-5 feet in length and is 2-3 feet in height from its shoulder to its feet. It weighs 120-170 pounds and females are larger than males. The spotted hyena usually hunts alone, but it hunt in packs when going after larger prey. It preys on zebra, wildebeest, topi, and gazelles. It also eats carrion. It has powerful jaws and eats the bones of the animals it kills. The female spotted hyena give birth to 1-4 pups three months after mating. The pups are born their eyes open and with teeth! Shortly after birth, pups that are the same sex begin fighting for dominance!

World Status Key
Least ConcernLeast Concern Near ThreatenedNear Threatened VulnerableVulnerable EndangeredEndangered Critically EndangeredCritically Endangered extinct in the wildExtinct in Wild extinctExtinct
Status taken from ICUN Redlist. If no status is listed, there is not enough data to establish status, or there is no status data for the species.

US Status Key
Threatened in US Threatened in US Threatened in New Hampshire Threatened in NH Endangered in US Endangered in US Endangered in NH Endangered in NH Introduced Introduced
Status taken from US Fish and Wildlife and NH Fish and Game

New Hampshire Species

 

 North/Central American Species

None   None

Species Around the World

Location Key
Africa Africa Asia Asia Australia Australia/Oceania Europe Europe North America North/Central America South America South America New Hampshire Species NH Species

Spotted Hyaena - Crocuta crocuta Least Concern Africa
Brown Hyaena - Hyaena brunnea Near Threatened Africa

 

Striped Hyaena - Hyaena hyaena Near Threatened Africa Asia
Aardwolf - Proteles cristata Least Concern Africa

Additional Information

Resource Key
profile Profile Photos Photos Video Video Audio Audio

Hyena Species Profile images video
The hyena is Africa's most common large carnivore.
Source: African Wildlife Foundation Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: No

Aardwolf - Proteles cristata Species Profile images Least Concern Africa
Aardwolves are only found in Africa.
Source: Animal Diversity Web Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle/High School Teacher Section: Yes

Aardwolf - Proteles cristata Species Profile images Least Concern Africa
Aardwolves are nocturnal insectivores! They eat harvester termites.
Source: The Living Desert Intended Audience: Students Reading Level: Elementary/Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Brown Hyena - Hyaena brunnea Species Profile images video Near Threatened Africa
The brown hyena has a long shaggy coat and pointed ears.
Source: Arkive Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Brown Hyena - Hyaena brunnea Species Profile images Near Threatened Africa
Brown hyenas are found in the southern tip of Africa. The largest populations are in the southern Kalahari and the coastal areas of southwest Africa.
Source: Animal Diversity Web Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle/High School Teacher Section: Yes

Spotted Hyena - Crocuta crocuta Species Profile images Least Concern Africa
Spotted hyenas are good swimmers and can run as fast as 30 mile per hour.
Source: San Diego Zoo Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Elementary/Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Spotted Hyena - Crocuta crocuta Species Profile images video Least Concern Africa
The spotted hyena has sloping shoulders, large ears, and spots!
Source: Arkive Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Spotted Hyena - Crocuta crocuta Species Profile images video Least Concern Africa
Spotted hyenas are scavengers and eat the leftovers of other predators.
Source: National Geographic Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: No

Spotted Hyena - Crocuta crocuta Species Profile images Least Concern Africa
Spotted hyenas occur throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.
Source: Animal Diversity Web Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle/High School Teacher Section: Yes

Spotted Hyena - Crocuta crocuta Species Profile images audio Least Concern Africa
Spotted hyenas are the largest of the hyenas.
Source: Honolulu Zoo Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Spotted Hyena - Crocuta crocuta Species Profile images Least Concern Africa
Spotted hyenas are also known as laughing hyenas.
Source: Oakland Zoo Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Spotted Hyena - Crocuta crocuta Species Profile images Least Concern Africa
Spotted hyena packs are made up of up of 20 or more related individuals.
Source: St. Louis Zoo Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Elementary/Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Striped Hyena - Hyaena hyaena Species Profile Photos Near Threatened Africa Asia
Striped hyenas were once found from Great Britain to China.
Source: San Diego Zoo Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Elementary/Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Striped Hyena - Hyaena hyaena Species Profile Photos video Near Threatened Africa Asia
The striped hyena has a brown coat with zebra-like stripes.
Source: Arkive Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Striped Hyena - Hyaena hyaena Species Profile Photos Near Threatened Africa Asia
The striped hyena is a scavenger. It can digest parts of animals that other species can't handle.
Source: The Living Desert Intended Audience: Students Reading Level: Elementary/Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Striped Hyena - Hyaena hyaena Species Profile Photos Near Threatened Africa Asia
Striped hyenas are found in Northern and Eastern Africa, the Middle East, India, and Asia extending north to the Caucasus and southern Siberia.
Source: Animal Diversity Web Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle/High School Teacher Section: Yes