Zoology & Botany

hyena

Prepare a picture of/book about/a toy hyena in advance, as well as a sample of hair

Say: Look at this animal. (Show a picture of a hyena.) This is a mammal.

Remember, to be classified as a mammal, an animal should have hair or fur, mammary glands (mammal mothers nurse their young with milk), lungs and need air to breathe. Mammals that live on land are warm blooded, have 4 legs and ears that stick out. (Point to the hyena) Say: Hyenas are strongly built animals that have a large head and neck. Their coat is short; It is sandy to grey/brown in color with black spots. Their ears are short and rounded and they have extremely strong jaws. The forelegs are longer than the hind legs so that the back slopes downwards to the base of the tail. Their feet have four toes with broad toe pads and non-retractable claws. Hyenas have good hearing and sharp eyesight at night. They are fast and can run for long distances without tiring. Hyenas use various sounds, postures and signals to communicate with each other. One of the most characteristic sounds that hyena produce is laughter. This sound alerts other hyenas that new food source is located.

Go back to the picture of the sheep. Say: let’s find sheep’s body parts. This is its head, eyes, nose, mouth, body, legs: 1,2,3,4; this is its tail. (Ask the baby to touch and feel the sample of hair) Say: Hyenas have a short tail of bone and hair. The tail is narrow and fairly thin and ends in a black, bushy tip.

Hyenas live in territorial and large clans that can consist of up to 80 members. 

Hyenas are living things and need energy to survive.

Hyenas are carnivorous animals. They have a wide diet range and are both hunters and scavengers. In addition to scouring other predator's meals, hyenas will eat lizards, birds, snakes and insects but also have the ability to take down an antelope or wildebeest. Because their jaws are so strong, hyenas have the ability to eat bones, teeth and hooves. After mating season, it takes 90-110 days for babies to be born. One female hyena gets 2-4 cubs and she takes care of them in the "natal den" (special den reserved only for mother with cubs) for 4 weeks. At birth the cubs are black in color, their eyes are open and their teeth are fully developed. . Cubs begin to eat meat from kills near the den at about 5 months, but they are suckled for as long as 12 to 18 months. At about 1 year, cubs begin to follow their mothers on their hunting and scavenging forays.

Hyenas are found on the prey rich savannahs of Africa and parts of Asia and Europe. They can range in habitats from grasslands, savannas, woodlands, deserts, forests and mountains. We need to take care of Hayenas and treat them with respect because they are living things just like us, people.

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