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Spotted hyenas

Spotted hyenas

Z931/0022

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Credit

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

Caption

Spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) feeding on a carcass, watched by vultures. 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. It is renowned for its scavenging abilities, feeding on carrion left from the kills of others. When scavenging, the hyena is reluctant to share meat and disputes often develop over kills. However, it also hunts cooperatively in packs, and will seize young animals as soon as they are born. Widespread over the plains of southern and eastern Africa, adults can weigh up to 80 kilograms.

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