Wild Things: Feathered dinosaurs, king crabs and spotted hyenas

Traveling snails, brainwashed rats and more updates from the world of wildlife

(Craig R. Smith)

Observed: Spotted hyena Crocuta crocuta

Spotted hyena
(Joe McDonald / DRKPhoto.com)
Heeds: The whoops of intruding hyenas when they are played through loudspeakers in the wild, at least in a study by Michigan State University researchers.
Counts: The number of hyenas on the recording, according to the study, which is the first to show that hyenas can distinguish one intruder’s whoop from another’s.
Calculates: Its odds before approaching the intruders or fleeing. “They’re more cautious when they’re outnumbered and take more risks when they have the numerical advantage,” says Sarah Benson-Amram. Hyenas join lions and chimpanzees as animals that demonstrate the ability to compare their own to their opponents’ numbers.

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus