The striped hyena is the second largest hyena species. This medium sized animal has a down ward sloping back and a roundish head with a pointed muzzle and pointed ears. Striped hyenas have 5 to 9 stripes on their back.
They have a long bushy tail which is black and white in color. A hyena’s body length is about 3.2 to 3.9 feet. They weigh about 49 to 121 pounds. A hyena’s life span is about 10 to 12 years in the wild and 20 to 25 years in a zoo.
Hyenas live in arid steppes, dry rocky brush and scrub land. Their range is North and North East Africa and the Middle East to Asia. Hyenas have large heads and strong jaws filled with huge teeth to crush bone. Hyenas are mostly scavengers. Hyenas are very skilled hunters. Hyenas have a carnivorous diet. Hyenas are able to take down very large prey. They usually prey on sheep, goats, or horses. Hyenas have been on earth for 24 million years.
Striped hyenas were once found in Great Britain and in china. The mongoose and the meerkat are the hyenas closest relatives. Striped hyenas are a near endangered species.
Author: Carlos M
Sources: http://www.sandiegozoo.org/animalbytes/t-striped_hyena.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Striped_Hyena http://www.itsnature.org/ground/mammals-land/hyena
PHOTO CREDIT: Nirmal Gosh