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Hyaena, Spotted

Find, identify and discuss the animals of all the SANParks

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wildtuinman
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Hyaena, Spotted

Unread postby wildtuinman » Tue Mar 01, 2005 1:06 pm

Spotted Hyaena (Crocuta crocuta)

Image

In the storm drain pipe just east of Skukuza.
Last edited by wildtuinman on Fri May 06, 2005 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Meg » Tue Mar 01, 2005 8:55 pm

Storm drains where we regularly see hyaena, and have seen pups are:

H1-4, S39 Junction on the East side. This is where we saw the wild dog pack attempting to take out pups left with only 2 adult baby sitters in 2000. In 2004 we saw more pups there - seems to be a successful clan.

H11 between Skukuza and the H4-1, on the SouthEast side of the road, at the bottom of a steep bank.

H4-1 just North of the H11 junction on the side of the road of the river (pretty close to the above den!)

H12, just north of the S30 junction on the East side of the road, also down a steep bank. They had medium sized pups 2 months ago
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spotted hyena

Unread postby kwenga » Mon Jun 27, 2005 12:51 pm

I've seen a german scientist presenting facts about the spotted hyena on TV. Picture-wise it was totally boring, they just showed the guy and no hyena at all, but he had some interesting things to say after 17 years of studying hyena packs (so I really do think he is kind of an expert)
1. In contrary to widespread belief, female hyenas do not have higher testosterone levels than other female mammals
2.Their sometimes aggressive behaviour is therefore not testosterone-driven, but females work in teams and can always count on their female partner to support them, so it's easy to be aggressive if you win by numbers
3.The more subordinate a male behaves, the more viable offspring he will produce.
The whole mating business is up to the females, which will pick the nice and gentle guys. A macho male hasn't got
as much success.
So, in fact, it's probably not excessive female aggression but male subordination that keeps the matriarchal hyena society going.
This was all quite new to me, maybe some other people can comment on this and add some facts.

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Unread postby Loams » Mon Jun 27, 2005 1:45 pm

I think the thing with the testosterone is interesting, but then again I don't remember ever thinking that they have more testosterone than other female mammals, I remember that they get a huge testosterone boost while still being an embrio. Maybe it dissappates after a while?

Interesting bit about the subordinate males that get more action. Who ever said nice guys finish last? Not there!!!

Hyena's are indeed very enthralling animals and I think another 50 years of study will still not reveal all the facts.
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spotted hyenas

Unread postby wildjohn » Mon Jun 27, 2005 7:56 pm

Thanks Kwenga,

That was very interesting and contrary to what I ever thought.

Hans Kruuk worked on them for many years (60's - 70's), but he was studying them during the old school thought of testosterone-being the driver of female assertiveness etc. Unless, the same guy has unravelled new theory or his co-students - Perhaps another of his countrymen.


Anyway, if you get name of guy and his article refs. let us know.

In meantime, I'll hold onto the aloofness of the silent type when I am next on a courting mission !

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Unread postby kwenga » Tue Jun 28, 2005 10:43 am

His name is Heribert Hofer, here's an abstract from medline
Proc Biol Sci. 2003 Jun 22;270(1521):1247-54. Related Articles, Links
Click here to read
Sexual conflicts in spotted hyenas: male and female mating tactics and their reproductive outcome with respect to age, social status and tenure.

East ML, Burke T, Wilhelm K, Greig C, Hofer H.

Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Alfred-Kowalke-Strasse 17, D-10315 Berlin, Germany. east@uzw-berlin.de

We investigated the reproductive outcomes of male and female mating tactics in the spotted hyena, Crocuta crocuta, a female-dominated social carnivore with high maternal investment, an absence of paternal care and female control over copulation.
Paternity was determined using microsatellite profiling of 236 offspring in 171 litters from three clans.
We found little evidence that male tactics that sought to coerce or monopolize females were successful. Polyandry and sperm competition appeared to counter effectively pre-copulatory male tactics, such as harassment, monopolization and other tactics, such as infanticide, that were against the evolutionary interests of females, and may have contributed to the stability of the male dominance hierarchy, which operated as a social queue.
At least 39% of 54 females mated multiply, and 35% of 75 twin litters were fathered by two sires.
Polyandry may also serve to ensure fertilization, compensate for an initial poor-quality mate or ensure fertilization by genetically compatible mates.
Female mate choice matched observed patterns of affiliative male-female behaviour, indicating that affiliative behaviour is a successful male mating tactic and was consistent with the idea that male tenure may serve as an index of male quality, although male fertility may decline with extreme old age.

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Unread postby madach » Tue Jun 28, 2005 10:58 pm

The thing Hofer says about the testosteron levels is interesting and contradicts what I've read about hyaena's. This is what WildlifeCampus has to say about the spotted hyaena:

"Dominance and aggression within the clan are based on the members' relative testosterone levels. The dominant female, in one very large clan of 70 individuals, was found to have levels of this male hormone six times higher than the next animal." (source: WildlifeCampus Game Ranging course).

In the Behaviour Guide to African Mammals by Richard Despard Estes it is mentioned that "Aggressiveness is mediated by male sex hormones, especially testosterone......Preliminairy evidence was borne out in a study indicating that females and males have equal concentrations of male hormone in their circulation".

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Unread postby Loams » Wed Jun 29, 2005 8:14 am

That's what I've also learned madach. What makes me wonder is this:

Surely the first people that published these findings did some scientific experimentation? Surely they measured the level of testosterone in females before they said it's very high?
How come now someone is saying it isn't? Who is measuring the testosterone and who isn't? Who got published without actually doing the work?

It is not easy to get published. If you put out a book, you need to show how you came to certain findings. I am so confused :( . More than what is normal for blonde.
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Unread postby kwenga » Wed Jun 29, 2005 9:01 am

When you check medline for hyena and testosterone, you won't find any published result about T levels in females. There are some hints about elevated T levels during pregnancy, probably made by the placenta, which are thought to play a role in the development of the genitals, and about high levels in newborn pups.
Some good information is also found here.
Just some notes on measuring hormone levels: They can be measured in blood serum and, nowadays, in droppings as well (non-invasive), which is good when dealing with wild hyenas.
Just measuring the level will not necessarily give you an idea of how effective the hormone is: Fractions are bound to blood proteins (=ineffective) or are metabolized in different tissues to more or less effective compounds. So it may not be as straightforward as we like it to be, confusion about topics like this is therefore rather the norm than the exception.

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Unread postby Johann » Fri Jul 01, 2005 8:10 am

Stayed in a perimeter bungalow at Satara for 3 nights in June. Saw more than one hyena patrolling the fence every night.

Two nights at Shingwedzi, again on perimeter, by the backgate. Hyena patrolling fence every night. Luckily they remembered to close the backgate :)
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Unread postby saraf » Fri Jul 01, 2005 10:01 pm

Saw one under the restaurant deck at Lower Sabie one night in Feb. Restaurant/bar was quite busy and a few people had spotlights. And the good news was that I did not see anyone throwing food for him.

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Unread postby DuQues » Wed Dec 21, 2005 10:09 am

For those that want to know, the location of a den:
S24.04.039 E31.44.118 (That is near Olifants.)

As spotted by Madach.
Arriving currently: The photos from our trip! Overhere! :yaya:

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Unread postby Jakkalsbessie » Wed Dec 21, 2005 10:36 am

Elsa wrote:I am not sure if it would be the same den as the one we saw before, but this one was in a culvert that runs through under the road and it was between the Ngotso North waterhole and the S89, on the H1-4.
There were a lot of hyenas of various ages running around, at that time, with one main babysitter in attendance.


Thanks Elsa, we also saw them at that exact spot few times before. :? Just didn't think they would still be there!
Will go and have a look :lol:
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Unread postby bert » Wed Dec 21, 2005 1:56 pm

Elsa wrote:I am not sure if it would be the same den as the one we saw before, but this one was in a culvert that runs through under the road and it was between the Ngotso North waterhole and the S89, on the H1-4.
There were a lot of hyenas of various ages running around, at that time, with one main babysitter in attendance.


Saw this specific den in 1999.
Looks like a well used and established den

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Unread postby mfb » Sun Feb 19, 2006 11:05 pm

Spotted Hyenas hunt in packs where they will mostly tack the stragllers of their quarry, they chase their prey until exhaustion
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