: a hyena (Crocuta crocuta) of sub-Saharan Africa that has a tan to reddish-brown coat with dark roundish spots, a large head, long muzzle, powerful jaws, and rounded ears
In addition to being an efficient scavenger, the spotted hyena is a skilled hunter, preying on various large animals (such as wildebeests, gazelles, and zebras). The spotted hyena communicates using a variety of vocalizations including groans, squeals, laughs, whoops, and growls.
- It's never wise to make a spotted hyena nervous. Among the deadliest of African predators, they can eat and digest whole carcasses, including skin and bones.
- —Natural History
- … female spotted hyenas are bigger and more aggressive than males. Every clan is a matriarchy ruled by an alpha female.
- —Steve Kemper
— called also
- Biologists remained unsure why spotted hyenas giggle but theorized that the giggles may express frustration.
- —Harper's Magazine