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Hyaena
Striped hyena
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Hyaenidae
Subfamily: Hyaeninae
Genus: Hyaena
Brisson, 1762
  H. hyaena

Hyaena is a genus comprising two of the living species of hyenas: the striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena) from Western Asia, India, Central Asia, East Africa and Northern Africa and the brown hyena (Hyaena brunnea) from Southern Africa. The brown hyena has sometimes been placed in a separate genus Parahyaena, or even included in the otherwise fossil genus Pachycrocuta, but recent sources have tended to place it in Hyaena.

The brown hyena's skull is larger than that of the striped hyena. The male brown hyena is slightly larger than the female, while the sexes of the striped hyena are equally sized. Both species are smaller than the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta), but larger than the aardwolf (Proteles cristata). They are predominantly scavengers.

Extant Species

Image Scientific name Common Name Distribution
Hyaena hyaena Striped hyena Northern Africa, East Africa, Central Asia, India and Western Asia extinct in Europe
Hyaena brunnea Brown hyena Southern Africa