Speaking the modern language, at a hyena the extremely unpleasant image. Not without reason in the screen version of "Lord of the Rings" варгам (which in Tolkien’s novel represent huge wolves) gave giyenovy lines. It seems that the nature specially tried to create a being causing in people whole "bouquet" of negative emotions. For what do not love hyenas?
Spotty hyena in a profile. Dave Pape, commons.wikimedia.org

Here is how they are expressed by Ernest Hemingueya’s character of the story «Green hills of Africa»:

– Физи, – spoke in M’kol’s such cases and shook the head, derisively being distressed concerning that on light there are such vile creatures. Физи, a hyena, bisexual the suicide, the devourer of corpses, a thunder-storm of a uterus with calfs, the predator who is gnawing through knee tendons, always ready to seize the person to the sleeping person, with the sad we howl follows about travelers, smelly, opposite, with a loose-hanging belly and strong jaws, has easily a bite bones which too hard and to a lion, рыщет on the brown plain, continually turning back the impudent muzzle opposite, as at a mongrel.

  • For what do not love hyenas?
    screen, Shot from m-f "The Lion King".
  • For what do not love hyenas?
    скан, the Photo from the book «Bears and other wild animals», M: World, 1980.
  • For what do not love hyenas?
    Manuscript of the British library., bestiary.us
  • For what do not love hyenas?
    скан, the Photo from the book «Bears and other wild animals», M: World, 1980.
  • For what do not love hyenas?
    Mariomassone, commons.wikimedia.org
  • For what do not love hyenas?
    Carla Hufstedler, commons.wikimedia.org
  • For what do not love hyenas?
    Jill Sneesby, southafrica.net
  • For what do not love hyenas?
    Just chaos, commons.wikimedia.org
  • For what do not love hyenas?
    Greg Hume, commons.wikimedia.org

About "two-cavity" we will talk later. And now коснёмся more obvious myths which occur about these interesting predators.

Let’s begin with systematization. Outwardly the hyena reminds a certain dog at whom gene engineers fairly worked. It has massive head, muddy eyes, a wide nose that in aggregate and gives it that "impudent" expression. Add to it an unpleasant and ominous voice. Hyenas are capable to grunt, cough, whine, growl, but especially strong impression makes the hysterical laughter reminding laughter of the mad.

Forepaws at a hyena are longer back therefore when walking she strongly wags the back, almost without dragging it on the ground, and its run reminds clumsy gallop. The "humpbacked" constitution strengthens and considerably raised withers with a rigid mane. Consider that because of these shchetinisty withers the animal and received the nickname – Hyena containing an Ancient Greek root of hus (a pig, a wild boar). Other wool at a hyena too rigid, quite often felted and smells at all as violets…

For this originality scientists "took away" the whole family under hyenas. Moreover, on "genealogy" the close relatives of the giyenovy – not so dog, and viverrovy and cat’s.

The family giyenovy includes today only four look. His largest representative is the spotty hyena (length of a body – to 166 cm, weight – to 80 kg) – the habitual inhabitant of the African savannas to the South from Sahara. However, more than 14 thousand years ago larger hyenas lived in Western Europe – cave. They, really, nested in caves, and their height in withers reached meter.

Long time of hyenas considered as classical padalshchik – robbers of graves, devourers of corpses and spongers of lions. Jaws of a hyena, apparently, are created to eat up behind "noble" predators – they are capable to process all bones behind an exception unless the elephant. In one of the African myths even it is told that the hyena specially prevented people to find immortality to have possibility to eat corpses. And on ancient images it is quite often possible to see, how this predator pulls out a mummy directly from a tomb.

N. Gumilev:

Its plaints are furious and rough,
Her eyes are ominous and sad,
Also menacing teeth is terrible
On pinkish marble of a grave.

«… Look everything, as my wool дыбится,
As looks shine with malicious sparks.
Not the truth, I am the same queen,
How that, what sleeps under these stones?

In it the heart, full change fought,
Carried death bent eyebrows,
She was the same hyena,
She, as I, loved a blood smell».

R. Kipling:

… Hyenas stick canines into sand,
Both champ, and growl.
And here soldier’s boots
Towards to the moon stick out.

Here it also left on light, soldiers, –
Friends, anybody.
One гиеньи eyes look
In its empty pupils…

Lorenzo Mediano «Dedication ceremony»:
– You – a hyena, Mendek, – whispered to it to Surtan, – and I will give you so much drop, how many you will want. But never forget that I – a lion.

Similar ideas of a food of hyenas occurred long enough. While Dutch этолог Hans Kruuk, and then the British naturalists Jane and Gugo van Lavik-Gudoll did not carry out the supervision. They watched life of flight of spotty hyenas – a so-called clan into which usually enters to 25 individuals. By the way, the book Gudollov «Innocent murderers», devoted to hyenas, giyenovy dogs and jackals, is not less fascinating, than the art novel. I urgently recommend…

Generally, unexpectedly it became clear that in reality everything looks exactly the opposite. Though hyenas do not disdain drop, they extract 83 % of production by own forces – duly wolf hunting: exhaust, surround and literally on a place tear an unfortunate antelope, a gazelle or a zebra. Here it should be noted that, despite seeming awkwardness, these predators are quick and capable to gather speed to 65 km/h, surpassing the same lions. Moreover, lions quite often follow hyenas in hope of a darmovshchinka.

B. Grzhimek «Among animals of Africa»:
«… we with my friend Alan Rutom decided to do the following experience. We recorded voices of lions and hyenas on a recorder film and then reproduced them through a loudspeaker, hanging up on a tree in different places of the savanna.

And here something became clear absolutely stunning. Not hyenas were interested in lion’s growl over the poverzhenny victim, and lions immediately ran together to a place, "squabble" of hyenas similar to laughter, greedy and hasty breaking off the production» from where reached.

Sometimes between lions spongers and hyenas the real fights are started. Happens that a lion, using the physical superiority, even kills a hyena. But if "king of beasts" grows decrepit, his fate, most likely, will end in stomachs gluttonous «хохотунов».

Unlike spotty hyenas, other types of family are engaged in gregarious hunting infrequently. For example, the inhabitant of South Africa a brown hyena prefers to "smooth out" coast of the seas from the living creatures cast ashore and to devour small animals – including house birds. The striped hyena living in the northeast of Africa, in the Southern and Central Asia, also prefers drop and pets. But not to visit away yet on a melon field and to regale in hot day on juicy water-melons and melons. By the way, the brown and striped differ from spotty hyenas not only a coloring, but also an impressive mane from a long hard hair. And ears at them pointed, while at the spotty – roundish.

However the most unusual diet at the last and smallest representative of family of the giyenovy – the earthwolf. In the afternoon he really hides in earth holes – usually dug трубкозубами. And at night leaves on "hunting" for… insects – first of all, termites. For one night sortie this "entomologist" is capable to gobble up to 300 thousand termites therefore even some water practically does not drink. However, paws at it are not adapted not so to break strong walls of termitaries. It is necessary or pinch insects during their land "campaigns", or again to use трубкозуба which consults with destruction of termitaries successfully.

In the following article I will discredit other myths about hyenas.