Follow the link for more information. Without anatomischer Anzeiger, 1906, Vol. 29 PDF rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols.
Författare: Karl Bardeleben.
Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Ethiopic characters. The spotted hyena is the most social of the Carnivora in that it has the largest group sizes and most complex social behaviours. The spotted hyena is a highly successful animal, being the most common large carnivore in Africa. Upper Paleolithic period, with carvings and paintings from the Lascaux and Chauvet Caves. The spotted hyena’s scientific name Crocuta, was once widely thought to be derived from the Latin loanword crocutus, which translates as „saffron-coloured one“, in reference to the animal’s fur colour.
This was proven to be incorrect, as the correct spelling of the loanword would have been Crocāta, and the word was never used in that sense by Graeco-Roman sources. From Classical antiquity until the Renaissance, the spotted and striped hyena were either assumed to be the same species, or distinguished purely on geographical, rather than physical grounds. The first detailed first-hand descriptions of the spotted hyena by Europeans come from Willem Bosman and Peter Kolbe. Bosman and Kolben’s descriptions went largely unnoticed until 1771, when the Welsh naturalist Thomas Pennant, in his Synopsis of Quadrupeds, used the descriptions, as well as his personal experience with a captive specimen, as a basis for consistently differentiating the spotted hyena from the striped. Pair of spotted hyenas at White River, Mpumalanga. Note the great degree of individual variation in fur colour, which was once used as a basis for separating the species into various subspecies.
Unlike the striped hyena, for which a number of subspecies were proposed in light of its extensive modern range, the spotted hyena is a genuinely variable species, both temporally and spatially. Its range once encompassed almost all of Africa and Eurasia, and displayed a large degree of morphological geographic variation, which led to an equally extensive set of specific and subspecific epithets. Skull, as illustrated by Frédéric Cuvier. Note the disproportionately large carnassials and premolars adapted for bone consumption. The spotted hyena has a strong and well developed neck and forequarters, but relatively underdeveloped hindquarters. The rump is rounded rather than angular, which prevents attackers coming from behind from getting a firm grip on it.
The head is wide and flat with a blunt muzzle and broad rhinarium. The skull of the spotted hyena differs from that of the striped hyena by its much greater size and narrower sagittal crest. For its size, the spotted hyena has one of the most powerfully built skulls among the Carnivora. The spotted hyena is the largest extant member of the Hyaenidae.