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DescriptionOne of the most misunderstood animals; spotted hyenas have a reputation as being sly and cowardly, but are in fact fascinating and intelligent with a remarkable social system (2). In appearance they are dog-like, with high shoulders and powerful forequarters sloping down to their hindquarters (2). Female spotted hyenas can be up to 14 percent heavier than males (3). Their coarse, short hair is sandy, ginger, dull grey or brown, and they get their name from the dark spots on their back, flanks, rump and legs, which fade with age (2) (3). A short mane ends just behind the shoulders, and the short, brown tail has a black, bushy tip (3). The spotted hyena is the second largest carnivore in Africa after the lion (3), and possesses incredibly strong jaws and teeth, enabling them to crush heavy bones to obtain the nutritious marrow within (2).