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Hyena clans make for good research, photos

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Jennifer Smith and Dr. Kay Holekamp of Michigan State bring us cute photos of hyena cubs.

Their research (click names) on the social behavior of the Spotted Hyena is worth reading.

A brief summary:

  • While hyena clans typically have 30-50 members or more, it is exceedingly rare for more than half to be together at once.
  • Recent kills, border patrols, conflicts with lions and clan wars attracted increasingly large groups of 8-20, but actual hunting was frequently done alone, allowing the hunter to eat first (hyenas eat 4-7 kg/day, but can consume that in five minutes).
  • Females and those of higher social rank were less likely to be alone.
  • Females tended to pair up — but never with males — to pick on other females. Such alliances were short-lived after controlling for kinship.
  • Nepotism was common among adult females, particularly for full sisters, but relatives were still subject to dominance-based attacks.

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It's good to find some Hyena research that can't be laughed at.

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GreenReaper (Laurence Parry)read storiescontact (login required)

a software developer and Norn from London, UK, interested in wikis and computers

Small fuzzy creature who likes cheese & carrots. Founder of WikiFur, lead admin of Inkbunny, and Editor-in-Chief of Flayrah.