A spotted hyena pulls on a carcass.
Dinner is served
Hyenas tear into a carcass as scavengering birds wait their turn. Hyenas eat almost everything on a carcass, including the bones.
A spotted hyena wearing a radio collar stands at alert over a carcass.
Spotted hyenas are known for their "laughs," but research shows the hyena giggles are anything but light-hearted. The animals usually make the noise during social conflicts.
Hyena and cub
Hyenas are aggressive, but they know how to cooperate. According to a 2009 study published in the journal Animal Behavior, hyenas are quicker learners than non-human primates when it comes to figuring out how to do a task to get food.
A spotted hyena enjoys a meal. Hyena females outrank males and get to eat first.
Live Science newsletter
Stay up to date on the latest science news by signing up for our Essentials newsletter.
Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science, covering topics ranging from geoscience to archaeology to the human brain and behavior. She was previously a senior writer for Live Science but is now a freelancer based in Denver, Colorado, and regularly contributes to Scientific American and The Monitor, the monthly magazine of the American Psychological Association. Stephanie received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.