Spotted Hyena with cubs
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Spotted Hyena, or Laughing Hyena, (Crocuta crocuta) is a carnivorous mammal of the family hyaenidae. It is the largest of the hyenas, and is native to sub-Saharan Africa, save for the Congo basin. It occurs in many different habitats, from extremely hot and arid lowland areas in its northern and southern ranges, to cold, mountainous terrains in East Africa and Ethiopia. The species can also survive near human habitations.
The species is best known for one of its vocalisations, which resembles the sound of hysterical human laughter. Though often labeled incorrectly as a scavenger, the spotted hyena is actually a powerful hunter, the majority of its nourishment being derived from live prey.
The female Spotted Hyena's urogenital system is unique among mammals; the female's clitoris is elongated to form a fully erectile phallus, and the vaginal opening is at the tip of this phallus. Only the shape of the glans at the tip of the phallus makes it possible to differentiate the sexes. The female urinates, mates and gives birth through this pseudo-penis. Since it is impossible to penetrate without the female's cooperation, female hyenas have full control over whom they choose to mate with. The male hyena's penis lacks a baculum, a bone found in the genitals of most mammals.
Birth is very difficult: the internal birth canal extends almost to the subcaudal location of the vulva (which in Crocuta is fused to form a scrotum containing fatty pseudo-testes) before turning abruptly towards the clitoris, and the clitoris itself is narrow (although it ruptures with the first parturition, making subsequent births easier). In captivity, many cubs of first time mothers are stillborn because of the long labour times involved, and in the wild, it is estimated that 10% of first time mothers die during labour. These factors suggests that at some point there must have been powerful selective pressures driving the evolution of masculinisation. Spotted hyenas usually have 2 cubs at a time and they are raised for about 10 months.
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- [2008-10-28 15:23]
What a tender moment you have captured of the young pup succulling its Mom. Great focus and exposure result in a clear, crisp image. Thanks for sharing Tom.
A very good capture of this spotted hyena with young.
The focus is sharp with excellent detail.
Lovely warm lighting.
nice capture ,TFS Ori