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Spotted hyena

Spotted hyena
Photo Information
Copyright: Jan Hendrik van Rooyen (janhendrik) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 363 W: 58 N: 667] (2392)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-10-05
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon 20D, Canon EF 100-400mm L IS USM
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/125 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): The best photo on TN?, Kruger National Park 1, Open Up ...Part I [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-06-22 5:12
Viewed: 11509
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 58
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta)

This picture was taken close to Skukuza in the Kruger National Park just after sunrise.


Females have a fat-filled pseudoscrotum and the clitoris is erectile and the same size and almost the same shape as a male's penis looking remarkably similar to the males', resulting in the mistaken belief that hyenas are hermaphrodite. Average total length 1,6m, tail 25cm, shoulder height 80cm. Average weight of males is 60kg, females 70kg

Visible Male/Female Differences

Females are dominant and larger than males and a female's belly slopes less sharply upwards than a male's. Lactating females have one pair of prominent mammae between their hind legs. The females' pseudoscrotum is less deeply lobed than the male's scrotum. The erectile clitoris of the female has no neck and the tip is blunt, while the male's penis has a narrow neck and a pointed tip.

Habitat and Distribution

A wide range of habitats, excluding dense forest and desert.


The staple diet is medium-sized and large antelope such as blue wildebeest, gemsbok, zebra and impala. Also scavenges and takes smaller mammals, mice, birds, reptiles, fruit, eggs and insects.


Litters of 1-2 are born at any time of year after a gestation of 90 days. If both are females one of the twins kills her sister. Both sexes are sexually mature at 3 years. Males are full-grown at 30 months and females at 36 months. Lions kill spotted hyenas but rarely eat them.

Behavior and Habits

Spotted hyena hunt by running down their prey at speeds of up to 60 km/h over distances of up to 3 km. They kill by disembowelling the prey and biting major blood vessels. Hunting group size depends on intended prey: normally springbok and springhares are hunted by single hyenas, wildebeest by groups of three, eland and adult gemsbok by groups of four. Carrion is detected by smell from as far as 4,2 km downwind. Live prey is detected by sight and sound. The sound of other predators feeding attracts spotted hyenas from up to 10 km away. Normally lions cannot be displaced from a carcass unless they are outnumbered four to one or if an adult male lion is present. Lions will steal carcasses from spotted hyenas. Excess food is occasionally cached, often in shallow water.


The most distinctive call is a drawn out 'whooo-oop', which is a long-range contact call and assembly signal. Around carcasses, in fights and when attacking lions they scream, giggle, whoop, laugh, low, growl and snarl.

SOURCE: Spotted Hyena

mperla, valy67, liquidsunshine, Nico, marhowie, Anton, Fisher, loot, TAZ, liziafa, aido, PDP, annagrace, Alex_Strugariu, Janice, CTP, metcher, extramundi, vanderschelden, RII has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To annagrace: Hyenajanhendrik 1 06-28 08:37
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Jan ! What a fantastic capture ! I would say that it is technically perfect : sharpness, details, colors, composition, POV, DOF and BG... Wondeful ! The best hyena shot I ever saw ! But I wouldn't want to go too close to this one, looks quite angry and dangerous, and all these wounds and scars on his face... terrific ! Very well done !

Excellent capture Jan,
Good clear detail, strong colours and very sharp. exposure and lighting are good. Good POV and composition.
Well framed and very good notes to accompany the image.

Thanks for posting, enjoy the rest of the week

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2006-06-22 6:06]

Hi Jan,

A very good capture of this angry posing hyena,very sharp picture,no nits on this one,TFS,


  • Great 
  • soccer Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 587 W: 0 N: 655] (2557)
  • [2006-06-22 6:13]
  • [2]


Your note's heading says that it is a Brown Hyena and it is in fact a spotted Hyena. the Portrait is well composed with the tight crop. Great POV, Sharpness, DOF, BG and the Lighting here is great too. Warm, soft Lighting with no shadows always make good wildlfe pics in the African bush. TFS,

Very nice portrait Jan, with the face and eyes very clear and sharp..Excellent color, exposure and framing in this closeup as well.
Well done!

  • Great 
  • Anton Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 46 W: 11 N: 154] (595)
  • [2006-06-22 11:41]

Hello Jan Hendrik,

Lovely shot with gorgeous colour tones. Details and composition are excellent. Very easy on the eye. Clarity and sharpness are spot on. Lovely work.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2006-06-22 11:52]

Realy great shot! Very, very good on every aspect: detail, colors, contrast, POV...all of them.
TFS and bravo again

la hyene n'est pas belle mais la photo est de tres bonne qualité.

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  • Fisher Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1540 W: 309 N: 2234] (8915)
  • [2006-06-22 12:10]

Hi Jan,

Beautiful portrait and well done on the composition and details. TFS!!!


Hi Jan,

Doesn't smile a lot your Hyena....
Superb shot. TFS.


Hello Jan, excllent details, Bg, POV, Details are sharp.Perfect Capture, TFS Kyle

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2006-06-23 0:29]
  • [2]

Hello Jan Hendrik
Amper sê ek woef, maar die dier is mos nader aan 'n kat as aan 'n hond.

A great in your face capture of this very miss understood mammal. They are quite lovely animals (although many might not agree with me) and have such interesting behaviour and habits. Many people believe them to be just scavengers, but the truth is that they are better hunters than lions and lions steal far more food prey from them than the other way around.
Your composition is great and I love the close crop. It had to be real close to get this kind of shot considering the bad lighting conditions you still had so early in the morning. The colours are lovely and natural and the details are tack sharp. It looks like it had a broken eyebrow at some stage as the left side of the head (right side on the photo) runs at a rather peculiar angle. The BG is stunning (that is very indicative of such a short focal length) and the exposure was spot-on.
Very well done and TFS.

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2006-06-23 2:20]

Wow ! What an impressive Hyena that you have very well captured ! I don't like how it looks at me ;-) Colors, exposure, DOF and sharpness are very good. I also appreciate the complementary note... Congratulations Jan and thanks for sharing.

Hi Jan
Excellent shot. Nicely composed with good exposure, POV and depth of colour. Sharpness and clarity are spot on. Nice work. :-)

Hi Jan,
Excellent capture.
Wonderful POV and great details.
Very well done!
TFS Malgosia

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  • OzBY Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 183 W: 2 N: 351] (1355)
  • [2006-06-23 11:58]

Great picture (and frightening) of this Hyena.


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  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2006-06-24 19:08]

Hi Jan-Hendrik,
Great portrait! Superb detail and excellent DOF to have focus on the eye and keep the snout in focus also. Nicely framed, excellent light and colours. Great work.

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2006-06-26 7:55]

Hi Jan, they haven't got the most attractive of faces have they and that's not a welcoming grin either!

Nice portrait, good light and details - well done.

LOL, such amazing detail about the genitalia!

This is an awesome photo with spectacular detail. I believe the hyena has some dental caries in the lower incisors, he needs to see a dentist! Great DOF and POV.


Man...a truely great photo.
The hyena looks very evil and frightening!
Splendid artistic work.
No sense in saying what`s good about it.
All the best and TFS

Scrappy little fella. I guess you have to be in that environment! Yowza! (Great pic.)

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  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2006-08-12 4:20]

He looks so real Jan-Hendrik! What a tough character he is, and I like how he is looking right at you. Good shot, well done,

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  • CTP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 644 W: 6 N: 946] (2726)
  • [2006-08-19 23:54]

Hi Jan,
Excellent Hyena portrait.
I like your pov,dof,focus,sharpness,pose,colors,blurred bg,note and frame.TFS

Hi. Jan.
Excellent hyena portrait. Well composed, sharp and good details. Nice BG.

This is beautifully captured. The lighting, colours and details are impressing. Very nice eye contact and pose too, looks almost as a studio shot. Althogh this is a "terrible" beast you have captured somehow a cute expression :)
As you say in your profile you are very lucky to have access to such natural resources.
You have a very nice gallery too, TN has become so big that is difficult to see posts from all members.
Best regards, Felipe.

Jan Hendrik hi;..
A great shot...
What an animal...the devil and not in disguise this time!
Good job!

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2006-12-25 13:21]

Hello Jan , Fantastic portret photo , nice pose details colours very good pov ,and framing ,tfs Merry Crismas And Happy New Year , for you and youre family . Greetings Teunie .

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  • RII Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 481 W: 0 N: 895] (2862)
  • [2007-02-28 17:44]

Hi, Jan,

Magnific portrait, great color sharpness and fine details,your note is excellent, great work.


a super catcha nd what an ugle girlfriend to have......
best shot of a hyena i have seen!

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