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Adam Bannister


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on Why are female hyenas bigger than males?

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Hi Adam
These animals are indeed very fasinating. For those that are the Lion King believers, take a moment to watch and spend time with them you may be suprised at how they may change your mind.
Thanks for the article, it was refreshing.

Fascinating post Adam and very well researched. Having spent some time at the Hyena Den this morning, much time was spent observing both the social interactions and the animals behavior itself. I look forward to more updates on how this clan progresses. rich


Had a most fascinating and unexpected experience with them last year at about this time. After having spent a WONDERFUL afternoon in the ‘Tree House’ where we enjoyed fabulous food and fascinating wildlife, we visited a den, where a few youngsters were playing about, guarded by 2 females. They were unafraid of our presence and seemed to enjoy the visit even going so far as to try to sample what was in the ‘picnic’ carriage. They were hilarious!!! Charming…I am a fan.


Interesting critters and very fascinating relationship with lions. I was in Tanzania, a long time ago. There was a big marsh in the crater and we could hear lions growling and hyenas cackling(or whatever it is they do.) Our vehicle suddenly started spinning a bit and got stuck in what looked like a bog. It was a very fascinating/scary experience, as we waited for another vehicle to come pull us out. All the while, we could hear both sides and couldn’t see them and it was the middle of the day. Very different, when you know you are stuck and hear the noises these creatures make. Apparantely it was over a kill and the grass was so high or perhaps there was a depression on the other side, but we couldn’t see them, just hear them.

But interesting that females seem to be the dominant ones and also seem to be the one holding and defending territory. I wonder what the male’s contribution is, apart from mating? They seem to hold their own though and even seem to outnumber the lions, so I guess their strategy works? Perhaps no male takeovers and resulting infanticide helps prop their numbers up?
Some day I hope to visit the Sabi area-seems to be a fascinating place.


These animals are very attractive, is wonders to see their behavior. take a moment to watch and spend time with them you may be surprised at how they may change your mind.
Some day i hope to visit fantastic place. I real love wildlife…….


I didn’t get clear answer about hyena ..
Why females are bigger than males

Hi Albert. This is due to their high testosterone levels and dominance within the hyena society. Thanks, Amy

So are female hyenas more like males but with female genitalia and more masculine hormones than the male hyena? is it just like the roles where reversed and the hormones too? is it like the female hyenas are more like the “man”and the male hyenas are the “women”? I’m confused help me understand this

Hi Marc,
Yes in simplified version, that’s exactly it. Female have evolved pseudo-male genitalia to enhance their dominance over the clan. The social structure of hyenas involves all females outranking all males. I don’t know if they have more masculine hormones, but they are certainly bigger.

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