Brown hyena marking its territory

If there’s one word for the brown hyena it must be shaggy. The brown hyena has a longer coat than the better known spotted or striped hyenas. This, however, doesn’t make it a glamorous animal. Rather, his coat looks mangy and moth eaten. Brown hyenas are mainly scavengers, crushing even the bones of carcasses that other predators leave behind. The animal in the picture is marking its territory with a white and a black paste. Research has shown that the white paste is a general boundary marker for other hyenas: this is my territory. The black paste communicates to members of the same clan that this area is already searched for food; the smell of this paste fades after a few days.
Photo taken in Pilanesberg National Park

Author: johannekekroesbergen

I am an anthropologist of religion and photographer, currently living in Pretoria, South Africa. I wrote my PhD-thesis on narratives about Satanism in Zambia. Currently I am preparing a new research project that uses photography as an ethnographic method. In my free time, I love hiking, safaris and enjoying nature through photography.

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