The spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta) lives in the Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, and Asia. Laughing hyena is the other name of spotted hyena for their voices are so loud that it looks like the animal is laughing.
The overall population of a spotted hyena is 27,000 to 47,000. The species is listed as Least Concern.
Spotted hyenas look like African wild dogs but their back legs are slightly shorter. They have 300–350 mm (12–14 in) long tail.
Adult hyenas measure 95–165.8 cm (37–65 in) in body length and they stand up to 70–91.5 cm (28–36 in) at the shoulder. Males weigh up to 67.6 kg (149 lb), whereas females average 44.5–63.9 kg (98–141 lb) in weight. One of the heaviest spotted hyenas weighed as much as 90 kg (198 lb).
Spotted hyenas are highly social animals. They live in large groups known as clans.
Hyena cubs weigh 1.5 kilograms at birth. They have 6 – 7 mm long canines (teeth).
They usually make tunnel-like dens the entrance of which is 1.6–7.7 ft in width. However their burrows are not large enough to keep adults within. That is why only young hyenas live in burrows.
They are highly intelligent animals—even greater than chimpanzees.
Spotted hyenas eat medium to large animals. They rely on hearing, sight, and smell during hunting.
They will eat just about anything. The hyena’s diet include Thomson’s gazelles, zebra, wildebeest, impala, greater kudu, Burchell’s zebra, springbok, roan antelope, reedbuck, waterbuck, gemsbok, tortoises, fish, black rhino calves, young hippos, wild boar, reindeer, fallow deer, and pangolins,
The average speed at which the spotted hyenas run is 5 km (3.1 mi) but they can achieve 60 km/h (37 mi/h).
They do not have any natural predators in the wild. Spotted hyenas are highly vocal. They speak a wide range of sounds such as grunt, whoop, giggle, growl, loud grunt-laughing, whine, yell, and groan.
Spotted hyenas can live 12 to 25 years in the wild. The lifespan is greater in protected parks or zoos.