The social structure of the striped hyena may provide some advantages in terms of protecting food supplies and fighting against foes such as lions, tigers, leopards, and even spotted hyenas, which are all predators. Humans, on the other hand, pose the biggest threat to them. Striped hyenas are frequently struck by vehicles while feeding on roadkill.
It is believed that striped hyenas are related to dogs because of their enormous pointed ears and long, black nose that allows them to hear very well in the dark. In the thick grass, their gold or brownish gray fur is bordered with black stripes, which helps them blend in. They also have a bushy mane that spans from neck to tail, giving them the appearance of a full-body mohawk, which makes them appear more menacing to rivals. Their front legs are longer than their back legs, similar to spotted hyenas, which allows them to move with a loping gait, which conserves energy when traveling great distances in search of food.
Previously believed to be solitary creatures, current research has revealed that striped hyenas can be found in small groups of one female and many males in some places. They are mostly nocturnal or crepuscular creatures, and they spend the majority of the day hidden away in a natural cave or a burrow excavated into the mountainside. Occasionally, hyenas have been known to take over the burrows of other animals as well. Its den will be cluttered with bones from previous meals, and it will be anything but neat!
Despite the fact that the species has a wide range that includes sub-Saharan and northwestern Africa, India, and Turkey, its populations are extremely scarce in the wild. When combined with their shyness, nocturnal nature, and a variety of habitats that include rocky outcroppings, dense shrublands, and marshes, they can be difficult to spot.
It takes about a month for the young carnivores to taste their first solid food, and when the mother or some of the males in her group bring food back to the den, the hungry pups bleat with delight. The puppies chase, stalk, pounce, and ambush each other for entertainment and to gain experience in preparation for future hunts. They remain with their mother for an extended period of time in order to learn suitable food collection and hunting methods. However, when the pups reach the age of two, mom is ready to separate from her children, and the youngsters must choose a territory of their own.
Aside from being one of Africa’s most dangerous predators, spotted hyenas are also primarily carrion eaters, preferring to feast on the carcasses of large animals. Aside from having extraordinarily strong jaws for chewing up bones, horns, and hooves, they also have a digestive system that is capable of killing bacteria found in carcasses. Striped hyenas provide a vital service to the environment by consuming the carcasses of animals that have died. When they do hunt, striped hyenas go after smaller prey like as lizards or rodents, supplementing their diet with fruit and insects in addition to their meat.
Unlike their more vocal cousins, the spotted hyenas, striped hyenas are usually deafeningly quiet in comparison. Their most audible call is a cackling howl that is rarely heard. Body language, on the other hand, is a type of communication as well. When the hair along the back of a striped hyena is raised, it can nearly double in size or at the very least appear considerably larger—in a moment! This is not an act of aggressiveness, but rather the hyena’s last ditch effort to “appear” to be fearless in order to keep what it perceives to be dangerous predators at a distance. It is also possible for the hyena to communicate with others through the positioning of its ears, tail movement, and body posture.
Detailed information about striped hyenas has recently been disclosed through research, including the fact that their social structures are far more sophisticated than previously imagined. The scavengers were previously assumed to be largely solitary creatures, but recent study has revealed that they can form small groups of up to seven animals in regions where there is plenty of food or water to go around.