Achilles' heel of a killing cursor 


Spotted hyena in Etosha

Crocuta crocuta photo © NH53

The spotted hyena is specialised for cantering in the open, with endurance unrivalled by any other terrestrial carnivore. However, its Achilles’ heel is the looseness of its ankles and the slightness of its hindlimbs, which limit acceleration, stability, swerving and dodging. It consequently avoids sloping, broken, muddy or wooded terrain, and at full speed cannot outrun the much heavier male lion even on flat ground with a head-start.
Robin and the Honey Badger, 22 March 2016
Crocuta crocuta cantering
Male lion chasing Crocuta crocuta