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Spotted Hyena

Crocuta crocuta are the largest of the living species of Hyena, all of which are found within the family Hyaenidae, which itself is part of the suborder Feliforma. That all means that despite their doggish looks and pack behavior, Hyenas are actually more closely related to cats! 

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Spotted Hyenas live all across Africa south of the Sahara. As mentioned, they live in large packs, sometimes numbering up to 80 members, which are led by the females. They are large, muscular hunters, capable of weighing over 175lbs. Interestingly, the males and females are extremely difficult to distinguish from one another, as they have similar looking external reproductive organs. The species is also sexually dimorphic, with the females being larger than the males.

They are exceptional hunters, working in groups to take down prey that includes gazelle, buffalo, and wildebeast. They are also extremely opportunistic feeders, which can cause problems when they live in close vicinity to humans. Spotted Hyenas, like all Hyenas, have a dentition that allows them to crack bones. Spotted Hyenas also have the strongest jaws among all animals, which assists greatly in their bone breaking ability. They can consume and digest their entire kill. There is a myth that Hyenas are scavengers, and while they will do so on occasion, around 95% of the diets consist of food that they have killed themselves.


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For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!

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Gecarcinus quadratus The Halloween Crab goes by many names, including the Red Land Crab, Whitespot Crab, and Moon Crab. I personally like Halloween Crab though, since it really reflects the interesting colors. They have black carapaces, orange-red legs, and purple claws! Halloween Crabs live in the Pacific coast mangroves and forests of Central and South America. They actually live in the forests as adults, and return to the ocean in order to reproduce. Did you know that they live as far away as 18 miles (30km)  from water? Not where you normally think Crabs to be! While living in the forest, the Crabs forage nocturnally for different plant matter, including leaves and sapling. They also dig long burrows into the ground for protection. These burrows can measure nearly 5 ft long! Halloween Crabs are sometimes kept in captivity, and can be very tricky pets due to their excellent climbing skills. IUCN Status :  Not Listed Location :   Cent