Features of Striped Hyena
The body of the striped hyena is covered with grayish-brown fur. Its head, legs, torso and back have black vertical stripes while the muzzle and the ears are completely black. The hyena also has a medium sized mane on its neck, shoulder and back. The mane is erected when the hyena feels it is attacked to make itself look bigger than what it actually is. The lower part of the neck is covered with black throat patch. It has long legs and a soft tail, which reaches the hocks. The striped hyena of India grows to a length of four to five feet. The striped hyenas weigh somewhere between fifty seven to ninety pounds. There is not much difference in the size of the male and the female hyena. The Indian striped hyena is a creature of warm temperatures and their ears radiate heat.
Lifestyle of Striped Hyena
The striped hyena is found in the tropical savanna, grasslands, semi-deserts, scrub forests and woodlands. In the Indian subcontinent, they live on seashores as well as forests. Striped hyenas prefer wandering and move from one water hole to another. They do not go more than six miles from their previous water hole. They are not social animal and prefer to live in solitude. It is a rare occasion when the hyenas can be found in small family groups. Indian striped hyenas can be seen pulling and pushing each other by the neck in mock fighting rituals.
The female striped hyena attains maturity at the age of two or three. The hyena can mate throughout the year. The gestation period is nearly eighty eight to ninety two days. They give birth to one to five cubs at a time. The usual number of cubs is two and they start consuming meat after one month. Striped hyenas of India are scavengers who live on the preys of other predators. Striped hyenas can dominate young tigers.
Eating Habits of Striped Hyena
They are mainly carnivores and they might eat fruit. They consume insects and small animals like mice, mammalian carrion, tortoise, porcupine and wild pigs. They also eat domestic animals, like goats, sheep, donkeys, and horses.