Spotted Hyena

Crocuta crocuta

Class: Mammalia Order: Carnivora Family: Hyaenidae


Weight (Males): 89 – 120 lbs
Weight (Females): 98-140 lbs


Lifespan (Wild): Up to 20 years
Lifespan (Captivity): Up to 25 years


Spotted hyenas are carnivores and prey on a wide variety including mammals, reptils, and birds. They also feed on carrion, bones, horns, and eggs.

Habitat & Range

Grasslands of Sub-Sahara Africa

Interesting Facts

  • Hyenas are a large carnivorous mammal found in Africa. They are dog-like in appearance, however they are more closely related to cats.
  • They live in complex social groups called clans. Clans are matriarchal and dominated by the females which are generally larger and more aggressive than the males of this species.
  • Spotted hyenas are often thought of as scavengers. While they do feed on carrion, they are skilled hunters and catch at least 50-75% of their food. In fact, it’s not uncommon for lions to steal prey from hyenas.
  • They are very vocal and are often associated with laughing. Hyenas make a wide range of vocalizations including whoops, grunts, and groans in order to communicate.
  • Hyenas have powerful jaws with which they can easily crush bone.  They can digest things most animals are unable to such as skin and bones. They’ll even eat the parts they can’t digest like hair and horns.

Conservation Status

Least Concern


Spotted hyenas are considered least concern, however their numbers are decreasing. They are sometimes considered vermin and killed, and they are also threatened by habitat loss.