The spotted hyena is one out of four in the biological group Hyaenidae. (Now I’m sounding smart!)
Although phylogenetically (evolutionary) closer to cats, hyenas are behaviourally and morphologically (structurally) similar to dogs in several ways; both hyenas and dogs are nonarboreal (don’t climb trees), cursorial (adapted for running) hunters that catch prey with their teeth rather than claws. (Shooo now the internet is making me seem very clever.)
But this I do know, in the spotted hyena, unlike the other hyenas, the female is bigger than the male… Amazonian she is… The rear hyena is a female…
Urogenital anatomy of the female spotted hyena.
In terms of their external genitalia, spotted hyenas are the most highly ‘masculinized’ extant female mammals. Female spotted hyenas display a fused scrotum, rather than the labia majora of a typical female mammal. The hypertrophied clitoris is similar in form to the male penis, and both female and male spotted hyenas display erections – often in the nonsexual context of ‘meeting ceremonies’ (from http://www.vet.cornell.edu/labs/place/docs/2006Glickmanetal.pdf just in case you want to read more)
WHAT????… it is saying that the female has a penis like protrusion so don’t go guessing the sex from that… I won’t go into the complicated description of sexual behaviour of the animals, but suffice it to say this female wears the pants and only one lucky male will get to cover her… talk about a woman on testosterone…
The only other time I’ve seen hyena performing like these were, was after a territorial battle… and as there were hyena running off away from this pack, I assume that was the case again…
This lot must have been victorious as such friendly play is a form of bonding and strengthening the family unit…
They ran around in all directions and one even wanted to chew on our plastic bumper of the van… but this was all victorious play and family bonding and there was even mock sexual acts… (two males..)
More hyena photos to come… just some portrait photos when they posed for me…
The bat-eared fox (Otocyon megalotis) is a canid of the African savannah, named for its large ears.
The bat-eared fox , also referred to as big-eared fox, black-eared fox, and cape fox, has tawny fur with black ears, legs and parts of the pointed face. It averages 55 cm in length (head and body), with ears 13 cm long.
The bat-eared fox commonly occur in short grass lands as well as the more arid regions of the savannah. In addition to raising their young in dens, bat-eared foxes use self-dug dens for shelter from extreme temperatures and winds.
The bat-eared fox is an insectivore that uses its large ears to locate its prey. 80–90% of their diet is harvester termites. When this particular species of termite is not available bat-eared foxes feed on other species of termites and have also been observed consuming ants, beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, millipedes, moths, scorpions, spiders, and rarely birds, small mammals, and reptiles. The insects they eat fulfil the majority of their water intake needs.
The bat-eared fox is predominantly monogamous. In contrast to other canids, the bat-eared fox has a reversal in parental roles with the male taking on the majority of the parental care behaviour. Females gestate for 60–70 days and give birth to litters consisting of 1 to 6 pups. Beyond lactation, which lasts 14 to 15 weeks, males take over grooming, defending, huddling, chaperoning, and carrying the young between den sites.
A males job is never done….
Black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas)
It is also known as the silver-backed or red jackal, and is a species of jackal which inhabits two areas of the African continent separated by roughly 900 km.
One region includes the southern-most tip of the continent, including South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. The other area is along the eastern coastline, including Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti and Ethiopia.
It is the oldest extant member of the genus Canis. In other words it’s one old dog…. Although the most lightly built of jackals, it is the most aggressive, having been observed to singly kill animals many times its own size, and its intra-pack relationships are more quarrelsome.
Black-backed jackals are small, fox-like canids and are the smallest of the three species called jackal. They measure 30–48 cm (12–19 in) in shoulder height and 60–90 cm (24–35 in) in length. The tail measures 26–40 cm (10–16 in) in length. Male jackals weigh 6.8-9.5 kg (15-21 lb.), while females weigh 5.4–10 kg (12-22 lb.).
Jackals usually den in holes made by other species, though they will occasionally dig their own; females will dig tunnels 1–2 metres in depth with a 1-metre-wide entrance. Black-backed jackals are monogamous and territorial animals, and with the assistance of the elder offspring, the pups are raised. This has a greater bearing on pup survival. During the mating season, they become increasingly more vocal and territorial, with dominant animals preventing same family subordinates from mating through constant harassment.
I wrote an article a while ago, a humoristic take on Cancer sniffing dogs… here’s a link to the article if your interested… but re-reading it the other day I enjoyed the photo I had attached to it. A quick search through my folders and I found these photos I’ve taken of dogs, not all good candidates for sniffer dogs… specially the African Wild Dog, (the last photo). Would hate to have him smell my derriere.
I own a pack of dogs, and always have, they have always treated me better than anyone else, and love me unconditionally..
The youngest one “Bartjie” is his name, is my wife’s dog, and was at her side (even on the bed) whilst she went through her last cancer episode. He knew when she was not at her best and would follow her everywhere. The first to greet her on returning from a chemo session, a lick behind the ear his form of greeting. then on the bed with her, and there he’d stay unless she arose for something.
The other three, belong to me, and cats have no chance with them, if they can they will follow them up a tree as you can see below..