The spotted hyena lives in groups, hunts in groups, eats in groups. Biologists think that is why they are experts in cooperation.
So researchers gave hyenas a task that requires cooperation and compared them to other animals. The researchers watched how hyenas would work together in groups of two or more to complete a task like pulling ropes in order to get food. Hyenas could do this faster and better than primates — you know, animals like monkeys and gorillas. In fact, primates needed to be taught how to cooperate. Hyenas just figured it out on their own — very quickly.
No wonder they are such effective group hunters!
- Hyenas are most closely related to the mongoose and the meerkat family.
- The hyena walks like a bear because of its much longer front legs.
- Most people think of the hyena as an evil, yet funny, character because of its haunting laughter-like call.
Source: Duke University (2009, September 29). “Hyenas Cooperate, Problem-solve Better Than Primates.” ScienceDaily. From http//www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/