PETER CHADWICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PETER CHADWICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Laughing hyenas or spotted hyenas, Crocuta crocuta, feeding on an elephant carcass. Laughing hyenas are the largest of the hyenas. They are carnivores with powerful teeth (capable of splintering bone for the marrow) and well developed chewing and neck muscles. Here, they are scavenging by day, but they are mainly nocturnal. They also hunt in packs and seize young animals as soon as they are born. Widespread over the plains of southern and eastern Africa, this hyena has a piercing howl and a high, braying cry. The latter has earned it its common name. Adult laughing hyenas can weigh up to 80 kilograms. Photographed in the Mala Mala Game Reserve, South Africa.
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