HYENA, hi-e'n'a, one of a family (Hyaiii (ha) of carnivorous mammals, having relations in structure to the bears, the cats and the civets, familiar in Africa and southern Asia. They are of considerable size, about 150 to 250 pounds for adults, have large, rather short heads, powerful forequarters, feeble and droop ing hindquarters and short tails. The eyes are large, and have longitudinal pupils; the ears are long, erect, very open, and directed forwards. The teeth are numerous, massive, tuberculated, and well adapted to aid the muscular jaws crunch the strongest bones, as hyenas are able to do. Hyenas are nocturnal animals which pass the day in solitude in caves or other hiding places, which they quit at night in order to seek their prey in bands. Carrion is a favorite food, and the stench attracts the hyena by night as it does the vulture by day. In some cases they dig up dead bodies and devour them. They also prey on living animals, and flocks of sheep and goats suffer severely from their ravages in some localities. The common or striped hyena (Hyama striata) is a native of Northern Africa and parts of Asia, even eastward to Burma. It is brownish-gray and marked with bands of darker brown on the body, which become oblique on the flanks and legs. The hair upon the line of the back is much thicker and stronger than on any other part, forming a sort of mane, extending from the nape of the neck to the origin of the tail. This species was well known to the ancients, who entertained many absurd notions respecting it, believing that its neck con sisted of but one bone; that it changed its sex every year; that it could imitate the human voice, etc. The notion as to the neck is doubt
less due to the fact that in age the neck vertebra are apt to become anchylosed. It is a most uncouth and disagreeable animal, singularly homely, with a sneaking carriage, a fetid breath, and a glandular pouch beneath the anus, of most unpleasant odor. It was formerly sup posed that the hyena was untamable, but that it can be completely tamed there is not the shadow of a doubt. The spotted hyena (H. crocuta) has a considerable resemblance to the former species, but is larger, and is marked with numer ous round blackish-brown spots instead of stripes, nor is the mane so large. This species inhabits many ,parts of Africa, and was for merly ve numerous around the Cape of Good Hope. There ere is another species, the brown hyena (H. brunnea), which differs from the preceding by having stripes on the legs, the rest of the body being of a dark grayish-brown. It also inhabits the south of Africa. An ex tinct species, the cave hyena, was abundant in England, France and Germany anterior to the glacial epoch, and has left its remains in many caves of these countries. Though named H. Spelcra, it seems practically identical with the existing H. crocuta. The fossil ancestry goes back into the tertiary whence it seems to have sprung from the same stock that gave rise to the viveroids. Consult writers upon nature and sport in Africa and India ; Sydecker, The Game Animals of Africa' (1908) ; Roosevelt and Heller, 'Life Histories of African Game Animals' (1914).