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Of our planet has four different species of hyena: the spotted, brown and striped hyena and the aardwolf. The spotted hyena is the largest and most common. These are complex, intelligent and highly social animals that unfortunately come with a bad reputation.
See the fact file below for more information on the hyenas or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Hyena worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Carnivora
- Family: Hyaenidae
- Genera & species:
- Crocuta crocuta (spotted hyena)
- Hyaena brunnea (brown hyena)
- Hyaena hyaena (striped hyena)
- Proteles cristata (aardwolf)
SIZE and APPEARANCE
- The spotted hyena is the largest species and it grows from 4 to 5.9 feet long and 2.5 to 2.6 feet tall from paw to shoulder. They weigh 88 to 190 lbs.
- Brown hyenas are the second largest, ranging from 51 to 63 inches long and weighing 75 to 160 lbs. They can be distinguished from other hyenas by their long, shaggy coat, which is dark brown or black on the body and tan on the shoulders and neck.
- The striped hyena is 39 to 45 inches long and 26 to 30 inches tall from paw to shoulder. Their tails add another 12 to 16 inches and they weigh from 57 to 90 lbs.
- Aardwolves are the smallest species. They weigh from 17.6 to 30.8 lbs., and their length ranges from 33 to 41 inches.
SOCIAL LIFE and HABITAT
- Hyenas can adapt to almost any habitat. They can be found in grasslands, woodlands, savannas, forest edges, sub-deserts and mountains.
- The spotted hyena is the second largest carnivore in Africa, after the African lion.
- Spotted hyenas live in a matriarchal society. Females are larger, more muscular and definitely more aggressive than the males. The highest ranking male in the clan is subordinate to the lowest ranking female.
- Hyenas share tendencies with both felines and canines. They hunt by running down their prey and grabbing it with their mouths, like canines. They groom themselves often and scent-mark their territory, like felines.
- Hyenas live in clans of up to 100 hyenas, with a female hyena acting as the matriarch. Unlike other species that live in groups, hyenas fight each other often.
- One of the most dangerous sounds you might hear in the bush is laughter – the hyena’s call sounds like a laugh and it signals excitement that it has found food. The pitch of their laugh can indicate their status in the pack.
- Hyenas are carnivores except the Aardwolves, which are insectivores.
- Hyenas have long been known as scavengers, but they are actually skilled hunters and clans will organize to take down prey as large as zebra.
- The size of their hunt and meal is often determined by how large the hyena clan is. Clans work together to take down prey, so the bigger the animal, the more members the clan needs to have for a successful kill.
- Because their jaws are so strong, hyenas have the ability to eat bones, teeth and hooves. Generally, hyenas eat at night.
OFFSPRING and REPRODUCTION
- Mating happens outside of the clan. Non-related males and females will mate after a courtship that can last several days.
- Hyenas bear litters of two to four cubs and are born with their eyes open. The gestation period is around three months.
- Cubs begin to eat meat at about five months old, but they are suckled for as long as 12 to 18 months.
- At about one year, cubs begin to follow their mothers on their hunting and scavenging forays. Until then, they are left behind at the den with a babysitting adult.
- At two years, male hyenas leave the group while females stay with the clan their whole lives.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about hyenas across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Hyena worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the four different species of hyena: the spotted, brown and striped hyena and the aardwolf. The spotted hyena is the largest and most common. These are complex, intelligent and highly social animals that unfortunately come with a bad reputation.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Hyena Facts
- Truth or Bluff
- Doodle Art
- Hyena 4
- A Predator’s Anatomy of Survival
- Prehistoric Hyena
- Word Creator
- Word Find
- Weave Maze
- I Call Hyena
- A Short Story
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Link will appear as Hyena Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, May 21, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.