CLASSIFICATION OF HYENA : HYAENA
PHYLUM :- CHORDATA (Notochord, dorsal tubular nerve cord present and gill slits present )
Group :- CRANIATA ( Definite head. Cranium with brain present )
Sub-phylum :- VERTEBRATA ( vertebral column present)
Division :- GNATHOSTOMATA ( Jaws and paired appendages present )
Super class :- TETRAPODA ( Paired limbs, lungs, bony skeleton and cornified skin).
Class :-MAMMALIA ( Body covered with hairs. females have mammary glands ).
Sub-class :- THERIA ( Viviparous ).
Infra class :- EUTHERIA ( Placental mammals, vagina single ).
Order :- Carnivora ( Carnivorous ).
Genus : Hyaena
Found in Syria, Arabia, Africa and India.
HABIT AND HABITAT
Nocturnal, living in jungles. hyenas are behaviourally and morphologically similar to canids in several elements due to convergent evolution; both hyenas and canines are non-arboreal, cursorial hunters that catch prey with their teeth rather than claws. Both eat food quickly and may store it, and their calloused feet with large, blunt, nonretractable claws are adapted for running and making sharp turns. However, hyenas’ grooming, scent marking, defecation habits, mating and parental behaviour are consistent with the behaviour of other feliforms
GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF HYENA : HYAENA
- Commonly called as Lakadbaggha.
- Body dog-like, divided into small head, neck, trunk, chest, abdomen and bushy tail. Head contains mouth, nostril, snout, eyes and ears.
- It measures 1.5 meter in length.
- Colouration of body greyish or yellowish and coloured stripes on trunk.
- Feet 4-toed, claws non-retractile. Forelimbs stronger than hind limbs.
- Forelimb paws are adapted for digging.
- Every hyena clan is a matriarchy ruled by an alpha female. In the clan’s strict power structure, dominance passes down the alpha female’s line to her cubs.
- Groups of hyenas are known as clans. Clans can include up to 100 members. Unlike many other species, females are larger than males and take charge of the clan!
- Hyenas are famous for their scavenging abilities, but the Spotted Hyena is in fact a strong hunter too. Also known as the “laughing hyena”, Spotted Hyenas hold a bite so powerful that it can crush a giraffe’s bones!
- Among the four species of hyena, the largest, most widespread and most misconstrued of is the spotted hyena, Crocuta crocuta. With its scrappy fur, hunched back and wide, drooling grin, this so-called laughing hyena may not be the prettiest of animals. But our disdain goes more than skin deep.
- The likely stimulus for this myth is the female spotted hyena’s wildly unconventional genitalia, which are a near perfect facsimile of the male’s. A Crocuta’s clitoris extends almost an impressive eight inches and is shaped and positioned exactly like a penis, hence known in polite biological circles as a “pseudo-penis.” They can even get erections. To complete this trans-trickery, the female spotted hyena also appears to sport her very own pair of testicles: Her labia have fused to form a false scrotum and are filled with fatty-tissue swellings, which are quite understandably mistaken for male gonads. Paul A. Racey and Jennifer D. Skinner, authors of a paper on sexual mimicry in the spotted hyena, declared the appearance of males and females “so close that sex could only be determined with certainty by palpation of the scrotum.”
- Hyenas’ big brains have evolved to memorize the identity and rank of each of their clanmates. They also appear to be able to recall each member’s voice and status throughout their lives — no mean cognitive feat, and one that ensures they have the political savvy to both recognize friend from foe in a single call and negotiate their strict social hierarchy, without endless conflict.
Hyena screams and laughs like human beings. It digs human caves and eats flesh of freshly burried body. Hyena is fearsome to village folks.
Although they have a close resemblance to a dog, Spotted Hyenas are actually closer in relation to cats!
Special acids within the Spotted Hyenas stomach allow them to digest materials that other mammals cannot, including bones
Since the animal contains striped and bushy tail and possesses above features, hence it is Hyena.