*Texas Agricultural-Experimental Station, Texas A & M University, 1619 Gardner Field Rd, Uvalde, TX, 78801, U.S.A.
Hunting rates and hunting success in the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta)
Article first published online: 24 MAR 2009
Journal of Zoology
Volume 242, Issue 1, pages 1–15, May 1997
How to Cite
Holekamp, K. E., Smale, L., Berg, R. and Cooper, S. M. (1997), Hunting rates and hunting success in the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta). Journal of Zoology, 242: 1–15. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1997.tb02925.x
- Issue published online: 24 MAR 2009
- Article first published online: 24 MAR 2009
- Accepted 22 May 1996
Hunting group size, hunting rates and hunting success were monitored over a seven-year period among members of one large clan of spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) inhabiting the Masai Mara National Reserve, in south-west Kenya. Prey availability varied seasonally in this study area, and hyenas tended to hunt whichever prey species were most abundant during each month of the year. Over 75% of 272 hunting attempts were made by lone hyenas, even when they hunted antelope three times their own body mass, such as wildebeest and topi. Of all prey that were commonly hunted, only zebra were usually hunted in groups. Approximately one-third of all hunting attempts resulted in prey capture. Although no significant sex differences were observed in juvenile or adult hunting rates, low-ranking adult females hunted at significantly higher hourly rates than did higher-ranking females. Hunting success was not influenced by the social rank of hunters, but hunting group size and hunter's age strongly influenced success. Young hyenas were poor hunters, and did not achieve adult competency levels until they were 5–6 years old.