Spotted hyaena mating is highly polygynous and aseasonal and can be difficult because of the female’s reproductive tract.
Mating in spotted hyaenas is highly polygynous and aseasonal. The age at sexual maturity is about three years, although some males may be sexually active at two.
Males perform a bowing display to females before mating. The male lowers his muzzle to the ground, advances quickly toward the female, bows again, and then paws the ground close behind the female. The dominance of females assures that males are timid and will retreat immediately if the female shows any aggression.
The female’s reproductive tract makes mating somewhat difficult. Male hyaenas approach and slide their haunches under the female to achieve intromission. Once intromission is acheived they move to a more typical mating posture, with the male’s underside resting on the female’s back. The female phallus is completely slack during mating.
• Image | © Tambako The Jaguar, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-ND 2.0)
• Sources | (Estes, 1993; Frank, Holekamp, & Smale, 1995; Kingdon, 1977; Kruuk, 1972; Law, 2004; Nowak, 1999)