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Common name: Brown Hyena

Scientific name: Hyaena brunnea


Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: Hyaenidae

Genus: Hyaena

Species: H. brunnea


The brown hyena isn’t a well known species of Hyena. It is a ‘Near Threatened’ species on the ICUN Red List and is the second largest species in the hyena population. The Brown Hyena, unlike the Spotted Hyena, doesn’t really hunt at all. They are mainly scavengers that eat scraps and leftovers from lions and other animals. They also eat fruit and vegetables when food is scarce. Brown Hyenas from the coast hunt baby seals and eat washed-up marine life. They will also eat birds, eggs, insects, and small mammals, like foxes. They also eat antelopes, gazelle, zebras, and livestock.


Brown Hyenas have shaggy brown and tan fur and striped legs. Their faces are either grey, dark brown, or black. Their backs are hunched and they have low hindquarters. They have long, sloped necks. The Brown Hyena usually weighs between 80-120 lbs. and are around four feet long and 2-3 feet tall. Brown Hyenas roam savannahs and deserts in the southwestern part of Africa.


They also live around the coast. There are an estimated 5000-8000 Brown Hyenas in the wild. Male hyenas are mainly nomadic, but females and their young live in clans of 15-20. They are less organized then Spotted Hyenas and don’t usually hunt together. Clans can chase off caracals, leopards, and cheetahs, but are often eaten by lions and have their prey stolen from Spotted Hyenas.


Author: Kennedy J

Published: 05/2009


Sources: wikipedia (search: Brown hyena)







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