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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Striped Hyena Facts You’ll Never Forget

Want to know interesting striped hyena facts? For starters, they are commonly found in Africa, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, Central Asia, and the Caucasus.

The striped hyena is a specific hyena subspecies that's native to North, West and East Africa, Northern India and the rest of the Indian subcontinent, Central Asia, and the Caucasus. This hyena species belongs to the family hyaenidae and it is different from other hyena species based on several physical traits, including their iconic vertical stripes and pointed ears.

Across West Africa and other regions worldwide where the population of this species is high, the striped hyena continues to experience persecution mostly because it's a misunderstood animal. As a result, its numbers have rapidly been reduced. Even though its conservation status doesn't suggest that it's endangered, if the current trends continue, they will be declared endangered in the near future.

In this post, we'll share some of the most amazing facts about the striped hyena. So, sit back, scroll on, and enrich your knowledge base by going through every striped hyena fact that you need to know. From striped hyena size to striped hyena habitat and more, you'll find everything about striped hyenas here. We'll also cover how striped hyenas are different from spotted hyenas. For more awesome facts-based articles right here on Kidadl, check out coati and cuscus.

Striped Hyena Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a striped hyena?

The striped hyena is part of the hyena family.

What class of animal does a striped hyena belong to?

The striped hyena is part of the mammal family in the animal kingdom.

How many striped hyenas are there in the world?

According to estimates, there are less than 10,000 mature striped hyenas in the world today.

Where does a striped hyena live?

The striped hyena live in savanna areas in hot regions.

What is a striped hyena's habitat?

A striped hyena hyaena ideally suited to rocky scrublands, savannas and semi-desert environments. The ones who live in semi-deserts cannot adapt to true desert environments, as they require a water source to be within a 6-mile radius. They are most widely found in the mentioned habitats located across the Middle East, the Arabian Peninsula, North, East, and West Africa, the Indian subcontinent, the Caucasus region in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Who do striped hyenas live with?

Striped hyenas live in small family groups

How long does a striped hyena live?

The hyena striped has a life span that ranges from 10-12 years in the wild and 20-25 years in captivity.

How do they reproduce?

Striped hyenas reproduce sexually, like most other mammals. Males are known to be monogamous and  they establish dens with their female partners. Males are incredibly cooperative with the females when it comes to helping them feed and raise the hyena striped cubs. Their mating seasons vary based on where they are located. For example, the striped hyenas located in Central Asia and Arabian Peninsula typically mate during the October to November period, while the males and females located in the Caucasus region breed during the January to February period. Non-seasonal breeding also occurs among the striped hyenas that are bred in captivity. During the mating season, there is no specific time of day for the mating to happen. It can happen anytime and during the process, males are known to grip the necks of their female partners. After the 90-91 day gestation period, a striped hyena pup is born. Typically, a female produces more than one striped hyena baby. 2-4 cubs are born on average as a part of a single litter. Some of the iconic physical traits of cubs include their striped hyena ears, which are very small and cute. Their closed eyes and adult markings are also quite prominent during nascent stages. In terms of physical appearance at birth, striped hyenas are totally different from spotted hyenas, who are born almost developed fully with unmarked, black coats. The newborn striped hyenas open their eyes 7-8 days after birth and after a month in the den with the parents, they venture out into the world. Cubs are reliant on their mothers' milk for 2 months, after which they are weaned and fed by both their respective fathers and mothers.

What is their conservation status?

The current conservation status of these striped brown hyenas is near threatened. Estimates are that less than 10,000 adult striped hyenas now live in the wild, which is definitely a concern. Their biggest threat is humans, who have persecuted both the spotted hyena and the striped hyena through the ages. In mythology and folklore, hyenas are often symbols of stupidity and treachery. Reports that they preyed on humans (both adults and children) have made humans more aggressive towards them.

Striped Hyena Fun Facts

What do striped hyenas look like?

Striped brown hyenas have long legs, but a relatively shorter torso on them. Their black stripes are what really sets them apart from other hyena species. The backs of the hyena slope downwards as their forelimbs are fairly longer than their hind legs. Their forelegs feature bends in the area known as the carpal region and all in all, their legs are quite weak. Their eyes are small and their ears are very large and pointed. Their claws are blunt but incredibly powerful. In terms of genitalia, there are differences between the spotted hyena and the striped hyena. Female striped hyenas don't have the false scrotal sack and enlarged clitoris that can be seen in a female spotted hyena. The anal region of striped hyenas serves a protective function along with excretory and reproductive functions. When attacked, these hyenas spray a liquid that smells pungent to put off attackers, which gives them the necessary time to escape. The striped hyena skull appears smaller in size than the skull of a brown hyena and a spotted hyena, which is quite an interesting striped hyena head fact. Its powerful jaws can splinter a camel's thigh bones. Compared to human-friendly canines, the striped hyena face may seem uglier.

The mating season of striped hyenas living in arid mountainous areas differs from that of striped hyenas in semi-desert environments.

How cute are they?

Whether you find a striped hyena cute or not depends on your personal tastes and preferences. If you like dogs, wolves and other canines, you'll probably like a hyena, too. As they are typically timid when around humans, you have to give them some time and respect if you want them to warm up to you.

How do they communicate?

Compared to a brown hyena and a spotted hyena, a striped hyena is usually far more silent. The cackling striped hyena sounds that are quite loud are all that one gets to hear from them, and that too every once in a while. Apart from the howl, the striped hyena relies on certain types of striped hyena behavior for communication. For example, if they want to display aggression and bravery in the face of a threat in the wild, it can raise all the hair on its back, including the striped hyena mane. Each hyena produces a unique smell thanks to their anal scent glands, which helps them mark their respective territories in the wild.

How big is a striped hyena?

Compared to an average adult wolf, which has a length of 105 - 160 cm, a striped hyena is half the size. Wolves have a superior shoulder height as well that ranges from 80-85 cm, while striped hyenas have shoulder heights of 60-80 cm.

How fast can a striped hyena run?

Striped hyena cubs are born slow, but as they grow and become mature, their usual running speed in the wild is around 2-4 km per hour. Their trotting speed can go up to 8 km/ hour.

How much does a striped hyena weigh?

The weight of adult striped hyenas can range from 22-55 kg (49-121 lb). Hyena populations in areas with low concentrations of ideal prey tend to be undernourished, which can contribute to their low weight. However, those living in areas with sufficient prey species tend to be healthier and heavier.

What are their male and female names of the species?

While the striped hyena scientific name is hyaena hyaena, there are no gender-specific names for the males and females.

What would you call a baby striped hyena?

A baby striped hyena is usually called a cub in English.

What do they eat?

Carcasses of ungulates such as cattle, pig, deer, sheep, camel and more make up the majority of the striped hyena diet. In Central Asia, striped hyenas have been reported to have a diet of porcupines, wild boar, tortoises, and kulan. Oil willow fruits are also consumed by striped hyenas, along with grasshoppers, which is more common for the hyenas living in the Caucasus region of eastern Europe. As most striped hyenas across the world are consumers of carcasses, they consume a lot of bones, which are rich in calcium. As a result of this, the feces of striped hyenas turn white rapidly post-excretion.

Are they aggressive?

In the wild, striped hyenas may be aggressive towards threats, but towards humans, they're mostly timid. However, over the years, several reports from various parts of the world have mentioned packs of striped hyenas attacking and mauling humans to death at night.

Would they make a good pet?

Be it an India striped hyena or one from the Caucasus, the striped hyena has the potential of being a good pet. They may display several traits that are common with other species from the canine family. However, both adult females and males will initially struggle to adjust to a domestic environment, especially if it is adopted from the wild. If you want to keep a hyena as a pet, it's best to get in touch with a zoo to know the details. It's recommended to let the striped hyenas live in their natural habitats as their population is rapidly decreasing.

Did you know...

There is a high population of striped hyenas in Turkey, which is at the crossroads of Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The population of striped hyenas has been repeatedly blamed for digging up human graves for scavenging on bodies. To prevent this, authorities have had stones placed on graves to protect the bodies.

How does a striped hyena hunt?

Most striped hyenas are scavengers, but when in a group, they can take on larger animals and their swift movement allows them to dodge attacks. Their ferocious biting can inflict severe damage on a wide variety of prey that is larger than them.

Why is the striped hyena near-threatened?

Striped hyenas living across Africa and the world are facing a severe decline in numbers because they are persecuted by humans living close to their habitats. Hyenas often attack livestock that results in human groups going on elaborate hunts to eliminate the local striped hyena population.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including tundra wolf, or Malayan tiger.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Striped hyena coloring pages.

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