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Spotted hyenas

Spotted hyenas

Z931/0021

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Credit

JOHN READER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN READER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) feeding on a carcass. The spotted hyena is the largest and most powerful of the hyenas. It has teeth capable of splintering bone, and well-developed chewing and neck muscles. Whilst renowned for its scavenging abilities, C. crocuta also hunts prey in packs and will seize young animals as soon as they are born. When feeding, it is often stained with the blood of the kill up to its shoulders, as seen here. Widespread over the plains of southern and eastern Africa, adults can weigh up to 80 kilograms.

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