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Aardwolf: Diet and Foraging

Aardwolf: Diet and Foraging

Throughout its distribution range the aardwolf feeds primarily on one local species of nasute harvester termite (genus Trinervitermes). The preferred species are T. bettonianus in East Africa (Kruuk and Sands 1972); T. rhodesiensis in Zimbabwe and Botswana (Smithers 1971); and T. trinervoides in South Africa (Cooper and Skinner 1979, Richardson 1987a). In South Africa the diet is supplemented in winter by the pigmented harvester termite Hodotermes mossambicus (Richardson 1987a)…

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Brown Hyaena: Physical Description

Brown Hyaena: Physical Description

This medium-sized, dog-like animal has long forelegs and well developed forequarters, but weak hindquarters and a sloping back. The pelage is long, shaggy and dark brown to black except around the neck and shoulders, which are white. The underparts are light coloured, and the lower forefeet and hindfeet have white stripes. The ears are long and pointed. Adults usually weigh…

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Striped Hyaena (Hyaena hyaena)

Striped Hyaena (Hyaena hyaena)

The information presented below is based on Heribert Hofer, in Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan – Hyaenas and Aaron P. Wagner in Mammals of Africa Striped hyenas occur in grasslands, open woodlands, and bushy regions, usually in rugged terrain (Mills & Hofer 1998). Far less is known about these animals than about any other extant hyaenid. Striped hyenas usually weigh 30 to 35…

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Extinct Hyaena species

Extinct Hyaena species

Werdelin & Solounias (1991) estimate that, at the peak of hyaenid diversity in the late Miocene, at least 24 different hyena species concurrently roamed Eurasia and Africa. Fortunately there is a fairly extensive fossil record of the Hyaenidae, and careful analysis of this record has revealed a great deal about the life-styles of extinct hyaenids, as well as about their…

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Spotted Hyaena (Crocuta crocuta)

Spotted Hyaena (Crocuta crocuta)

These animals weigh 45-85 kg as adults, depending on sex (males weigh less than females) and capture location (hyaenas in southern Africa are larger than those in other parts of Africa). Spotted hyaenas are hunters and scavengers and can even chase lions away from their kills. Spotted hyaenas are intelligent, noisy, and gregarious, living in groups of as few as…

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Brown Hyaena (Parahyaena brunnea)

Brown Hyaena (Parahyaena brunnea)

Statistics  Weight: 45 kgFeeding Habits: Brown hyaenas prefer to dine on carrion, wild fruits, insects and eggs.  Brown hyaenas rarely kill small animals.  Small livestock, particularly young, can be protected from brown hyaenas and jackals at night by being placed in bush enclosures. Although brown hyaenas are solitary when looking for food, family members share a territory. Some males are…

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Spotted Hyena: Diet and Foraging

Spotted Hyena: Diet and Foraging

The spotted hyaena is still widely regarded as a scavenger that picks up leftovers at the kills of other carnivores (cheetah, leopard, lion) or feeds on carrion. However, this is not correct: all studies demonstrate that the spotted hyaena is an efficient predator in its own right. Although spotted hyenas will scavenge opportunistically, they kill as much as 95% of…

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Aardwolf (Proteles cristata)

Aardwolf (Proteles cristata)

Body mass: approximately 10 kgThe aardwolf’s favourite food is insects, especially termites, which they help to control.  Aardwolves cannot kill livestock, yet many aardwolves are killed each year because people believe they kill lambs.  They are also killed indirectly through insecticide spraying.  Aardwolves are family oriented, with males and females living together in a territory.  Each litter is composed of…

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The Truth About Hyaenas: debunking hyaena myths

The Truth About Hyaenas: debunking hyaena myths

Hyaenas are misunderstood.   Unless we change the way we see these amazing animals, we soon won’t see them at all.  Therefore here we debunk some common myths about members of the hyaena family. Myth: Spotted hyaenas are hermaphrodites. Reality: Hermaphrodites are animals that are simultaneously both male and female. Although there are many creatures in the animal kingdom that are true…

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