Spotted hyaenas are social and form groups called clans, composed of 3-80 members, and larger clans claim prime territory with large prey concentrations.
Spotted hyaenas forms social groups called clans, composed of 3 to 80 members.
Larger clans generally occur in prime territory with large prey concentrations, such as the Ngorongoro crater, whereas smaller clans occur in desert areas in southern Africa.
Although spotted hyaenas live in clans, the members of a clan are only observed all together at kills, when defending the territory, or at a communal den. More often, the clan members forage alone or in small groups.
Communal denning seems to be an important part of spotted hyaena social behavior, but no communal care of young takes place. One exception to this has been observed in the Kalahari during a particularly difficult period.
• Image | © Ralf Κλενγελ, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC 2.0)
• Sources | (East & Hofer, 2001; Frank, Holekamp, & Smale, 1995; Holekamp, et al., 1997; Kingdon, 1977; Kruuk, 1972; Law, 2004; Nowak, 1999)