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Hyenas have long been misunderstood and misrepresented in popular culture. They’re often portrayed as cruel scavengers, but in reality, they’re intelligent, social animals with complex behavior and a fascinating evolutionary history. While hyenas are often seen as the odd ones out in the animal kingdom, they’re actually closer to cats than dogs in many ways. This article will explore the many similarities between cats and hyenas, and why they’re actually more closely related than one might think.
Similar Physical Features
Hyenas and cats share many physical features that make them look alike. They both have short legs, long bodies, and powerful jaws that can crush bones. They also have similar facial features, such as a pointed muzzle, round eyes, and large ears. Both species also have long tails that they use for balance when running.
Hyenas and cats also share a similar gait. They both walk on their toes and use a bounding gait when running. This allows them to move quickly and silently, making them both excellent hunters.
Similar Hunting Behaviors
Hyenas and cats share similar hunting behaviors. Both species are solitary hunters, preferring to hunt alone rather than in packs. They’re also both ambush predators, meaning they hide and wait for their prey before attacking. They’re both also excellent climbers, which gives them an advantage when hunting in trees.
Hyenas and cats also share a similar diet. Both species are carnivores, meaning they eat mainly meat. They both also have a taste for carrion, meaning they’ll eat the remains of animals that have died.
Similar Social Behaviors
Hyenas and cats also share similar social behaviors. Both species are territorial, meaning they’ll defend their territory from other animals. They’re also both solitary animals, meaning they prefer to live alone rather than in groups.
Hyenas and cats also share a similar mating system. Both species are monogamous, meaning they mate with one partner for life. They’re also both promiscuous, meaning they’ll mate with multiple partners.
Similar Communication Behaviors
Hyenas and cats also share similar communication behaviors. Both species have a wide range of vocalizations, including growls, purrs, and meows. They also both have a keen sense of smell, which they use to communicate with each other.
Hyenas and cats have many similarities that make them more closely related than one might think. They share similar physical features, hunting behaviors, social behaviors, and communication behaviors. These similarities make it clear that hyenas are actually much closer to cats than they are to dogs.