Hyena Meeting Hard in Season

Hyena Meeting Hard in Season


Humans tend to make snap judgments about these animals. We think of them as savage gluttons with demonic laughs. But it’s an unfair characterization. In reality, they are sociable and smart.

Plus, they play a vital role in the African, Middle Eastern, and Asian ecosystems. Hyenas rival lions in terms of predatory prowess and the spotted hyena’s community structure will make you shout, “no way!” So, let’s abandon our assumptions and dive into the wild and wondrous world of these animals.

The earliest Hyena evolved from civet-like ancestors about 15 million years ago. Although Hyenas do have a bit of canine blood within their genetics, they are actually more closely related to felines. In fact, the order carnivore branched out into dogs and cats about 50 million years ago and hyenas evolved from that group.

The scientific name for aardwolves — which means “earthwolves” in the Afrikaans and Dutch languages — is Proteles cristata. Proteles is a portmanteau of two ancient Greek words, teleos and protos, which roughly translate to “complete” and “front or first,” respectively. Combined, they mean “complete in front,” a reference to the aardwolf’s five-toed front feet.

Cristata derives from the Latin word “cristatus,” which means “provided with a comb,” a reference to the animal’s mane.

Other names for aardwolf include “maanhaar-jackal,” “any hyena,” “termite-eating hyena,” and “civet hyena.” The Nama people use “|gīb” to label the animal.


According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, aardwolves and spotted hyenas are populations of least concern, meaning they’re currently not in danger of extinction. However, brown and striped hyenas are classified as near threatened, and scientists are employing conservation efforts to combat declining population numbers.

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