Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta) Hyaenidae - KNOWLEDGE AND LIGHT
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Ventral View Spotted Hyena Skull

Note the dentition and shapes of the individual teeth. The 4 teeth posterior to the canine are premolars; they function to break, crush and rapidly dismantle carcasses as their shapes would suggest. The hyena has vestigial molars that are usually lost early in life. This animal does not need molars because hyenas do not chew food. Like dogs (canidae) and cats (felidae), scraps and chunks of meat and bone are swallowed whole. The hyena competes with many powerful predators on the African plains; there is no time for chewing. Super predators must dismember carcasses and swallow food as quickly as possible.

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