Eye-catching neckline in spotted hyena


Spotted Hyena Crocuta crocuta 6042098528

Crocuta crocuta photo © Bernard Dupont


The immature spotted hyena has a spotless patch on the side of the neck which is crisply defined by the shortness of its fur. We suspect that this patch reflects ultraviolet and is far brighter to the eye of the spotted hyena than to the human eye – allowing mothers to track the position of their adolescent offspring during hectic competition for carcases and chaotic conflicts with other species of carnivores.

Robin and the Honey Badger, 22 March 2016
Spotless patch on the side of the neck in Crocuta crocuta
Neck colouration of juvenile Crocuta crocuta