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 Post subject: Successful Predators
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 8:29 pm 
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The spotted hyena is a very successful predator. It is in fact a far more successful predator than the lion. It is often the lion that scavenges food from the hyena rather than the other way around. Prey species allow the hyena to get closer than any other predator. Scientists don't know why this is the case. A reason for their success is that prey species are unmindful of the hyena's staying power and drop from exhaustion within 1.5 - 5 kms. Hyenas can gallop at a top speed of 60 kph for up to 3 kms, can maintain 40 - 50 kph for several kms more and can lope tirelessly at 10 kph mile after mile. Hyenas eat as fast as possible and compete for food in this way at a kill rather than fighting. The hyena can consume up to a third of its own weight compared to a quarter by the lion. The qaurreling of hyenas around a kill serves to attract other clan members. Where there are fewer hyenas around a kill (eg. 2), they will feed in silence. Other predators waste up to 40% of their kills, whereas the spotted hyena eats virtually everything. Hunting success rates for a single hyena is about 26% (75% of their hunting is solitary) and for more than one hyena they are successful 43% of the time.

The lion can maintain a top speed of 50 - 60 kph for a distance of 100m. The success rate of solitary hunters is only 17 - 19% compared to 30% when two or more lions are involved. Lions apparently don't learn to take wind direction into account during a hunt (this according to research).

I have twice witnessed packs of hyenas hunting zebra close to Satara on a nightdrive and close to Sirheni on a nightdrive.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 10:04 pm 
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Very interesting Bothali. I always thought all Hyaenas were scavengers, but this is evidently not the case. :? Wikipedia has information on Hyaenas that supports your points:
Quote:
Hyenas are also highly intelligent predators, even more intelligent than the lions (some scientists claim they are of equal intelligence to certain apes). One indication of hyena intelligence is that hyenas will move their kills closer to each other to protect them from scavengers; another indication is their strategic hunting methods.

and
Quote:
Despite common belief, only some species belonging to this family are scavengers: while the brown and the striped hyena derive most of their diets from scavenging, the spotted hyena is not only a real predator, but also the most effective predator on the African savannah. The Aardwolf usually eat insects like termites.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 10:12 pm 
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Spotted hyaena are very adaptable animals which will adept to the local situation. In the Makuleke Contract Park in the North of the KNP the spotted hyaena is considered to be the top predator due to the low lion density. Down South in the KNP I suspect that spotted hyaenas are mainly scavengers due to a high lion density.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:43 pm 
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madach wrote:
Down South in the KNP I suspect that spotted hyaenas are mainly scavengers due to a high lion density.


I am not sure that this is true Madach but am also not prepared to argue the point as you have much more experience than I do of Kruger and the animals that exist in the southern part of the park :cry:

All that has been said here on this subject of Hyaenas I agree with - except maybe to voice my own opinion that, whilst the aardwolf does indeed mostly exist on a diet of termites, they can also be pretty effective scavengers when the need or the opportunity arises!


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Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 12:08 am 
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As in many cases it is a matter of interpretation of the facts.

I would not at all dis-agree with the opinion that Bothali put on the screen!

Spotted Hyena are indeed very capable predators, and in areas of high density they are often the main predator in a given area!

This does however not change the fact that they are also scavengers! It is a well known fact that they actively scavenge, and will even follow animals such as Leopard, Cheetah and Wild dog to scavenge their kills.

In fact most other predators are also scavengers!

Madach makes a valuable point in pointing out that Hyena often play different roles according to what circumstance dictate.

To state that: "the spotted hyena is not only a real predator, but also the most effective predator on the African savannah" is purely a matter of interpretation. How do you judge which is the most effective predator? Different sets of criteria would give you different answers!

Hyena are truly wonderful animals, and do not deserve the "bad press" they often get! :wink:

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Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 12:25 am 
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Tabs wrote:
madach wrote:
Down South in the KNP I suspect that spotted hyaenas are mainly scavengers due to a high lion density.


I am not sure that this is true Madach but am also not prepared to argue the point as you have much more experience than I do of Kruger and the animals that exist in the southern part of the park :cry:

I'm also not sure of it so arguing the point is pointless :lol: The way to make sure is probably to ask Gus Mills.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 12:27 am 
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Wild dogs have a hunting success of between 40 - 85% - I don't know what the figures are for the spotted hyaena as they do not always hunt in packs - I have seen many lone hyaenas on the hunt but I do not believe that wild dogs ever hunt alone - so as far as I am aware the wild dog is the most effective large predator in Africa.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 2:37 am 
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There are many sources that say that wild dogs are the most effective predator in Africa and that this is due to their hunting in packs. From what I can gather, leopards are probably the second most effective followed by hyena.

With regard to lion hunting behaviour, a lot of the research seems to have been done on the Serengeti and elsewhere on the African plains, where the landscape is different and hunting patterns would probably not be the same here.


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 Post subject: Re: Successful Predators
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:48 am 
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I wouldn´t use Wikipedia as a reliabel source! Anyway Hayenas will hunt for themselves and will scavnge from other animals. But one thing is defenatly correckt, the most of us have a wrong picture from the Hayenas.

Anyway we are talking about hunting, I can Imagine the hunting rates depend on lot of different factors as Landscape, health, how long the can run on the top speed, the definition of hunting(if we only see the hunting at is own the Cheeatah will come on the second place, but the loose there kill very often to other Predators). I can also imagine, that the rtes differ from country to country, because even the behaviors of he animals will change from Park to park! e.g Leopards in Zimbabwe(Kariba lake) they are known as dog killer. In Asia Leopsrds specialise in killing humans. As far as I know such incidents happen in Afrika as well, but these are incidents at not regulary. With this exampel, I just want to make clear that everything casn differ!



Best Regads Malealea

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