Extensive study of the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta) has revealed numerous traits that set this species apart from other mammals. These animals are sex-role reversed in both their anatomy and behavior, and their societies are more complex than those of any other mammalian carnivore. Long-term study of these bizarre animals has led to fascinating discoveries in the domains of ontogeny, behavioral endocrinology, ecology, and evolution. Here, we highlight some key findings and explain how study of this unique model organism has improved our understanding of the fundamental rules governing animal behavior.
Smith, J. E., & Holekamp, K. E. (2018). Spotted Hyenas. In Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior (pp. 190–208). Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/b978-0-12-809633-8.20749-8