Good word for a long time, no one could find for the hyenas.
Insidious they cowardly; eagerly tormented carrion, laughing like demons, and still able to change sex and become the females, the males.
Ernest Hemingway, who had been a lot of Africa and well-versed in the habits of the animals, knew about hyenas only that they "hermaphrodites, defiling the dead» ...
Who eats dinner lion?
In fact, spotted hyenas are very different from other carnivorous animals. For example, only the female hyenas are larger and heavier than males. Their constitution defines the life of the pack, there reigns a matriarchy. In this little world feminist males contend there is no sense, life partner much stronger and meaner them. Hyenas female lions attacking old or young, razdelyvaya with them in a matter of minutes.
Why hyenas are arranged so unusual? Because the blood of females is very high testosterone - the male sex hormone, helps form muscle and hair growth in males, as well as encourage them to aggressive behavior. Pregnant females increased its content.
The reason for the unusual structure of hyenas (the value of females and morphological similarity to-male sex) proved a hormone called androstenedione, which is capable of under the influence of enzymes transformed into a female hormone - estrogen - or testosterone - the male hormone.
Pregnant hyenas androstenedione, penetrating into the placenta, is converted into testosterone. In all other mammals, including humans, on the contrary - to estrogen.
Estrogen stimulates the emergence of a particular enzyme in the body that the hyenas little active. Thus, in the placenta so much testosterone is produced by the fetus is formed with pronounced masculine (male) characters.
These hyenas, of the genus Hyaena, have molars 5/4, but only in the maxilla, behind carnivore tooth, there is a small, often drop out, the tooth lumpy; pseudo-molars are equipped with wide conical crowns; on the structure of the teeth and skull hyena approaching cats.
On either side of the anus are glands which release give the animal a characteristic odor. The first naturalists began studying hyenas, initially thought that many hyenas are hermaphrodites, or practicing homosexual pairing, because of the unique urogenital female reproductive system spotted hyena.
Their clitoris reaches huge sizes (up to 15 cm), and it may seem like a male sexual organ.
Spotted hyena - the largest and most widespread in Africa. Habitat has a very diverse - deserts, bushes, woods in the whole of Africa south of the Sahara, with the exception of the extreme south and the Congo Basin. At the same territory of live and two other types of hyenas. Fur from spotted hyena long and rigid, colors khaki or light brown with dark spots of irregular shape. The tips of the feet and tail and muzzle - dark brown or even black, and on the neck and shoulders - a short rigid mane.
Brown hyena occupies the small area, but it seems, can survive in almost any habitat. It is found in the desert, in the areas covered with grass and bushes in the woods and along the coast of South Africa. Her dark brown fur much more lengths it and more shaggy than the spotted hyena. Especially dense it on shoulders and back. Therefore the hyena looks larger than it really is.
Striped hyena - smallest of three kinds - lives to the north of their relatives. She prefers open district in the east and north of Africa, the Middle East, Arabia, India, and in the southwest of the former Soviet Union. She seldom settles further than K) km from the water. She has gray or light brown fur, duck and shaggy, with transverse dark brown stripes, and on the back - rigid mane in length to 20 cm.
All hyenas shoulders above the rear part of the body and the spine is not parallel to the ground, and at a substantial angle. They have a bouncing swinging gait, because they - pacers. In spotted hyenas ears rounded, and at brown and striped - pointed.
Welcome ceremony in both sexes and all ages is quite complicated - every animal hind leg raises others to sniff his genitals. They also keep in touch shouts and other sounds from which few human ear picks up. At hyenas a loud distinct voice can be heard several kilometers away. Sometimes spotted hyena called laughing because of its shout similar to a laughter. Brown hyenas conduct more lonely way of life. They live families from 4-6 individuals, and hunt alone. In greeting brown hyenas too sniff each other's head and body oschetinivaya with the mane, but they produce much less different sounds.
Though hyenas can be met during the day, they are more active at dusk and at night, and during the day prefer to relax in the den or near it. House hyena equip or, expanding holes of other animals or find a secluded place among rocks or in the woods. Hyenas are very attached to their territory, vigilantly guarding the area around the den, and also consider their larger hunting area. The dimensions of this area may vary considerably and depend on the quantity and availability of food. Hyenas mark borders demolition site secretions from anal glands and aromatic glands between the toes, as well as urine and feces. The most advanced aromatic anal glands - at a brown hyena. It distinguishes two types of secret - white and black paste with which marks mainly grass.
The spotted hyena can hunt alone, but often pursues extraction flock. Hyenas reach speeds up to 65 km / h so they can catch up with animals such as zebra and wildebeest. They grab the victim's legs or hips and keep its stranglehold until she drops. Then the whole pack pounces pas it and literally torn to pieces. The hyena can eat 15 kg of meat in one sitting. Most often they pursue antelopes shortly after those were born young because kids are easy prey.
Propagate by hyenas at any time of the year, but the highest number of babies are born in the period from August to January. Spotted hyenas mate with members of their same clan, at brown - the male-traveler couples with a female living in a group that met him on the road. Gestation lasts from 110 days the brown hyenas. Litter often consists of two puppies. Births occur in a hole - a large pit in the open countryside, grassy (part of the landscape is visible in the photograph). Some females gather in one hole and together produce offspring. Unlike almost all predators, dark brown puppies are born with their eyes open. In addition, they already have teeth. In case of need puppies can run right after birth.
All puppies remain in a hole under the supervision of one or two females. They come to the surface, so that the mother can feed them milk, but for safety reasons do not leave the burrow until they are about 8 months. At this age they go with mum on hunting or foraging. Hyenas never bring extraction in a hole that predators could not locate the shelter of a strong smell of carrion. Stains appear in 4 months. In a year and a half, the puppies' weaned ».
On this Site:
animals-plants.com, wikipedia.org, cypa.livejournal.com