Lions and hyenas have a similar diet; the two of them often cover the same field, hunt the same prey, and collect the same remains of animals, according to National Geographic. Both species are known to steal food from each other and attack each other, the publication reported.
These predators are everlasting rivals. Lions and hyenas are constantly competing. This struggle takes brutal forms from time to time. Hyenas like to attack small cubs of lions and often attack old and sick adults. In response, the lions destroy the hyenas and often eat them. The war between predators goes for food. Lions and hyenas often withdraw from each other’s prey, but the victory goes to the biggest pack.
The lion is the only really sociable feline, living in groups whose dimensions vary in size and dynamics. Lions are nocturnal or crepuscular animals, spending most of the day, around 20 hours, resting. The reasons why they spend so much time resting are determined by the need to conserve energy, the lack of prey, as well as to bear the heat of the day.
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The lion usually hunts by ambushing from a hidden place and then captures the prey. He chokes or strangles its prey, holding it with its fangs by its neck, while putting a paw on the nose, mouth, or trachea of the prey. When hunting if they don’t manage to catch the prey, the lion will give up the pursuit after 45-100 m. Despite its great strength and efficiency, the lion often fails to catch its prey and most hunts are a bust.
The lions are very powerful predators, exclusive carnivorous, that hunt large mammals, and among their preferences are gnu antelopes, impala antelopes, zebras, buffalo, wild boars, etc. The lion females usually hunt in groups, applying the strategy of sneaking close to the victims. Very often, some lion females encircle the herd from several points and then attack the nearest individual, suddenly and violently.
Though the fangs of the lions are very sharp and have impressive dimensions, up to 8 cm long, the prey is most often killed by strangulation.
A lion can eat even 30 kg of meat at a single meal. Small-sized preys are eaten on the spot and large-sized preys are often dragged to the group’s territory.
It is a scavenger through the feeding mode. The diet of the animal consists of various bodies and food waste. It does not refuse to eat carcasses of big-sized mammals or of medium size like gazelle, impala, or zebra. If the soft tissue has already been eaten previously by other predators, the hyenas will eat the bones.
The striped hyena completes its diet with seeds, fruits, fish, insects, and occasionally it kills small animals like rodents, hares, birds, or reptiles. Researchers identified fifteen mammalian species that can be caught by the striped hyenas. Some specimens have learned to hunt domestic animals (goats, sheep, dogs).
The high proportion of domestic animal remnants and even human remains in the diet of these animals, in some regions, proves the dependence of the hyenas on the habits and lifestyle of the local population. For example, in the Middle East, funeral stones, in addition to their traditional function, are an obstacle for the hyenas: they do not allow them to dig graves and feed on human remains.
Hyenas and lions often struggle in the same territories and hunt for the same prey. This leads to fierce competition between the two animals. The food is mutually stolen, but the hyenas usually attack and eat the old and sick lions or lion cubs.
The stained hyenas are known assassins
In spite of what Simba, from The Lion King, would like you to believe, the stained hyenas are not just looking for the remnants of lions. The hyenas observe, hunt, and eat in packs. Ninety-five percent of what a hyena eats comes from hunting. A group of hyenas can devour a whole zebra without leaving debris-not even bones-in less than half an hour. However, all this has a cost; the hyenas shred, rip and fight each other for the remains of their meal.
The hyenas’ clan has a formidable force. When there are many, they become very courageous and determined, even attacking groups of lions and taking their “legal” prey. True, this is usually the case if there is no adult male or more males among the lions.
It happens the other way around as well, when the lions would take an animal, that was recently caught by the hyenas.
With other predators in Africa, the hyenas manage relatively easily. Even a single hyena can take away a leopard’s prey, and can easily banish cheetah. Only a pack of hyenas is able to resist another pack of hyenas and even then, only if they are exceeded numerically.
Stained hyenas are typical predators from the African Savana. Hyenas have a reputation as cowards, feeding on what they can steal from others. The hyenas really take from the lions’ prey, courageously approaching an animal capable of slapping any hyena to death, and skillfully pulling a piece of meat. Once they have gathered in a herd, the hyenas can completely remove the prey from the lions.
The male hyenas are smaller than the female hyenas. Hyenas are also the most caring mothers among predators, they feed their cubs with milk for up to 20 months. The hyenas’ pregnancy lasts about 100 days and they give birth to 1-3 cubs. The cubs are born with open eyes, monochrome-black, and live in a den, which their mother equips it independently, up to 1 year, and then they go hunting with their mother.
It is the females that dominate in the hyenas’ packs and they decide from whom they will have descendants and choose those with higher status. And those who have a lower status have months or even years to work for the female’s favor, but if they achieve it, its importance in the pack will also increase. When the female passes the male, the male will bend over its head and ears, as though it was bowing in front of her.
The females are larger, stronger, and tougher than their male counterparts. Hyenas live in large pack and when food is available, females and cubs eat first. Once the male cubs are sufficiently old to cope on their own (at the age of two or three years), they are banished from their pack and they must find a new one. It is entirely up to the females to decide whether or not they accept a new male in their group.
In the wild, the territory claimed by the lions is in their possession, with the rest of the surviving hyenas leaving the region or appearing from time to time.
Experts in the carnivores’ study say that in battles to obtain a hunting territory and related leeks, the hyenas suffer the greatest losses, despite their specific “weapons” consisting of jaws capable of shredding elephant bones.
In Africa, there is no greater feud between animals such as that of the hyenas and lions that compete against each other in the natural environment.
A lion is twice as big as a hyena and three to four times tougher, and a single kick with a paw can end the life of an adult hyena. Therefore, the hyenas are careful during disputes with adult lions for this reason, but they are unstoppable when in packs.