Brown hyena

Brown hyenaThe Brown Hyena (Parahyaena brunnea) inhabits the Kalahari and Namib deserts in the south of Africa in Zimbabwe, Namibia, Angola and Botswana. The male on average weighs about 39 kilograms, with a big head, large teeth and sharp ears, and its coat is made up of long hair, colored with a deep shade of brown bearing black spots.

It resembles a Striped hyena, but they would never meet, as the Striped hyena lives in the north of African and the Brown hyena in the south. It is smaller than the Spotted hyena, and is mainly a scavenger, hunting for meat as its primary food, but it would not let go of vegetables and fruits if they are available. Other parts of their diet include insects and seal pups on the coastline of Namibia. Melons for the Brown Hyena are important sources of moisture for the dry months, eight months in theory.

They live in clans (4-15 members) and have their own hierarchy. The rank order determines its submission and dominance. Every Brown hyena exhibits scent-posting, and an individual Brown Hyena would defend its home against other males from a rival clan. The fascinating part is this: one would show very little aggressiveness to a nomadic individual. How they are able to differentiate between a nomadic one from a non-nomadic Brown Hyena is unknown.
Still, up to 3 individuals only feed on that carcass and, if a fourth one comes up, he would have to wait. Spotted hyenas as well as African wild dogs are known to chase off the Brown hyenas from a kill. Lions and humans are predators of the Brown hyena.

Interesting fact: Those species scavenging along the Atlantic shoreline have been given the name 'strandloper', which can be translated as 'beach walker'.

Picture of the Brown hyena by http://www.pistoleros.no, licensed under GFDL.

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