The hyena is a carnivorous dog-like species of animal, native to parts of both Africa and Asia. There are four known species of hyena, the spotted hyena, the striped hyena, the brown hyena and the aardwolf.
Hyenas are scavenger mammals meaning that the hyena tends to eat another animals kill, rather than the hyena actually catching its own food. The hyena is well known for its cackling laugh-like scream, which the hyena is believed to use in order to alert other hyenas of a source of food. This hyena call is thought to be able to be heard by other hyenas for up to three miles.
The hyena is a remarkably intelligent animal. Hyenas are thought to have being compared to primates and humans in the evolutionary status of the hyenas brain.
All four hyena species have a bear-like stance as the front legs of a hyena are longer than the back legs of a hyena. The striped hyena, the brown hyena and the aardwolf all have a striped mane on the top of the hyenas neck that stands up when the hyena is frightened. The main of a spotted hyena is considerably shorter and appears to stand on end the majority of the time.
Despite the hyenas once large range across Africa and parts of Asia and Europe, all four hyena species are today found mostly in the African Savannah. The only exception to this is that the striped hyena is often seen roaming in the jungles of India, and western Asia.
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