Ausgewählte Texte aus der Carakasaṃhitā

Anhang B: Tierbeschreibungen

Hyaena hyaena

zusammengestellt von Alois Payer

Zitierweise / cite as:

Carakasaṃhitā: Ausgewählte Texte aus der Carakasaṃhitā / übersetzt und erläutert von Alois Payer <1944 - >. -- Anhang B: Tierbeschreibungen. -- Hyaena hyaena.  -- Fassung vom 2010-12-09. -- URL:         

Erstmals publiziert:


Anlass: Lehrveranstaltung SS 2007

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Verwendete und zitierte Werke siehe:

Abb.:  Hyaena hyaena = Streifenhyäne
[Bildquelle: rainfairy. -- -- Zugriff am 2007-07-15. -- NamensnennungKeine kommerzielle NutzungKeine BearbeitungCreative Commons Lizenz  (Namensnennung, keine kommerzielle Nutzung, keine Bearbeitung)]

Abb.: Schädel von Hyaena hyaena = Streifenhyäne
[Bildquelle: Blanford 1888/91]


"THE STRIPED HYAENA (Hyaena striata).

The striped hyaena, which is the only representative of the genus found in India, is one of the two smaller and less powerful species, the length of the head and body measuring 3½ feet, and that of the tail 1 foot 6 inches. The species is characterised by its large and pointed ears, by the presence of a crest or mane of long hairs running along the middle of the neck and back, and by the long hair clothing the tail ; as well as by the relatively small size of the hind, as compared with the fore-feet. In colour the striped hyaena is dirty grey, with narrow transverse tawny or blackish stripes on the body and legs.

If the skull be examined, it will be found that the lower flesh-tooth differs from that of the jaw represented in the figure on p. 482, by the greater size of the heel at its hinder base, while on the inner side of the blade of the same tooth there is a small conical cusp which does not occur in the figured jaw. Moreover, in the upper jaw, the molar tooth occurring behind, or rather to the inner side of, the flesh-tooth, has a somewhat large crown, elongated in the transverse direction. In these respects the striped hyaena is less widely removed from the civets than is its cousin the spotted hyaena, and it is also somewhat less powerful in its jaws and teeth.

The striped hyaena is found throughout India, being especially common in the North-West and the Central Provinces ; but it is unknown in Ceylon. From India its range extends westwards through Baluchistan into Persia and Mesopotamia, as far as the Caucasus. It is also common in Palestine, Syria, and Arabia ; and the present writer on one occasion saw from the deck of a P. and O. steamer one of these animals walking on the Syrian side of the Suez Canal. From Syria it extends into Northern Africa, where it is occasionally met with in Abyssinia, but is more common in Egypt, and also to the westward in the regions lying to the north of the Sahara desert. Quite recently Dr. Emin Pasha, writing from Tabora, in East Africa, stated that a striped hyaena, similar to and perhaps identical with the Egyptian form, but smaller and lighter in colour, occurred in that part of Africa. During and before the age of the mammoth, the striped hyaena wandered over a considerable part of Europe, its remains having been discovered in a cave in the South of France; while teeth have also been obtained in England. It was, however, far less common in Europe than the spotted species.

Both in India and Syria the striped hyaena frequents open hilly or sandy districts ; although in the former country it is occasionally met with in forests, and, according to Canon Tristram, in the latter it may be found both in the deserts and in the woods. Like the other species it is nocturnal, although a stray individual (as the one above referred to) may be occasionally seen in the daytime, more especially in the early morning or late in the evening; but the striped hyaena differs from the spotted species in being a comparatively solitary animal, it being rare to meet with more than two together.

In Syria and Palestine the favourite haunts of the striped hyaena are the rock-cut tombs so common in these countries ; but in India it is more commonly found in holes and caves in rocks. Dr. Jerdon, writing of this species, says, that "I have more than once turned one out of a sugar-cane field when looking for jackals, and it very commonly lurks among ruins ; but in general its den is in a hole dug by itself on the side of a hill or ravine, or a cave in a rock. The call of the hyaena is a very disagreeable, unearthly cry, and dogs are often tempted out by it when near, and fall a victim to the stealthy marauder. On one occasion a small dog belonging to an officer was taken off* by a hyaena very early in the morning. The den of this beast was known to be not far off in some sandstone cliffs, and some sepoys of the detachment went after it, entered the cave, killed the hyaena, and recovered the dog alive, with but little damage done to it. A hyaena, though it does not appear to move very fast, gets over rough ground in a wonderful manner, and it takes a good long run to overtake it on horseback, unless in most favourable ground. A stray hyaena is now and then met with by a party of sportsmen, followed and speared ; but sometimes not till after a run of three or four miles, if the ground is broken by ravines. It is a cowardly animal, and shows but little fight when brought to bay. The young are very tamable, and show great signs of attachment to their owner, in spite of all that has been written about the untamable ferocity of the hyaena." According to Mr. Blanford, the striped hyaena is a more silent animal than its spotted cousin; and the cries of the two species, though in some respects similar, are very different.

The striped hyaena's food is mainly carrion or carcases killed by other animals ; and in inhabited districts the animal is much dreaded on account of its grave-robbing propensities. Portions of such carcases as it finds are eaten on the spot, while other parts are dragged off to its den, the situation of which is generally indicated by the fragments of bones around the entrance. These hyaenas will also feast on skeletons that have been picked down to the bone by jackals and vultures ; the bone-cracking power of the hyaena's jaws rendering such relics acceptable, if not favourite, food.

The striped hyaena will not infrequently cany off sheep and goats as well as clogs. Mr. Blanford states that he has never known instances of larger prey being taken ; and he supports this statement by mentioning that the live animals, tied up so frequently as baits for tigers and leopards, are never molested by hyaenas, which are undoubtedly in the constant habit of banqueting on carcases of animals killed by those cats. Canon Tristram relates, however, that in Palestine a donkey belonging to one of his servants was killed by a hyaena while the owner was sleeping alongside.

The striped hyaena probably on account of its "body-snatching" propensities is cordially detested by the natives of all the countries it inhabits. When a hyaena is killed, the body is treated in many parts of India with every mark of indignity, and finally burnt. On one occasion in the Punjab the present writer came across a party of natives cruelly ill-treating a nearly full-grown hyaena, which had been rendered helpless by its jaws being muzzled and its feet broken. Needless to say, the sufferings of the poor brute were soon terminated by a bullet. Although, owing to their nocturnal habits, hyaenas are seldom seen, yet in some parts of India, from the multitude of their tracks, they must be very common. These tracks, as Mr. Blanford observes, are like those of a dog, from which they may, however, be distinguished by the small size of the prints of the hind as compared with those of the fore-feet."

[Quelle: Lydekker, Richard <1849-1915>: The royal natural history / edited by Richard Lydekker ; with preface by P.L. Sclate. -- London ; New York : F. Warne, 1893-96. -- 6 Bde. : ill. (some col.) ; 26 cm. -- Bd. 1. -- S. 485 - 488. -- Online: -- Zugriff am 2007-09-27]


"Hyaena striata. The striped hyaena.

Hyama striata, Zimm. Geog. Gesch. ii, p. 256 (1780) ; Blyth, Cat. p. 44 ; Jerdon, Mam. p. 118.

Lakar bagha, Lakar bāgh or Lakra, Jhirak, Hondar, Harvāgh, Taras, H. in various districts ; Taras also Mahr. and Sindhi ; Cherak, Sindhi ; Aptar, Baluchi; Renhra, Gond ; Hebar kula, Ho Kol; Derko Tud, Paharia of Rajmehal; Dhopre, Korku; Kirba and Kut-kirba, Can.; Dūmul gūndu, Korna gūndu, Tel. ; kaluthai-korachi, Tam.

Tail about three sevenths the length of the body, and clothed with long hair. Hair of the median line on the neck and back long, forming a crest or mane. The hind legs considerably bent and shorter than the fore, the hind feet much smaller than the fore feet. A large post-anal glandular pouch receiving the secretions of the large anal scent-glands. The upper true molar with three roots ; lower true molar with an inner tubercle and a well-developed talon or heel.

Colour. Dirty grey, with narrow transverse tawny or blackish stripes on the body and legs.

Dimensions. Head and body 3½ feet, tail with hair 1½. Skull 8*5 inches in basal length, 6*4 broad across zygomatic arches.

Weight of an adult 74 lbs.

Distribution. Throughout the Peninsula of India, rare in forests, abundant in hilly open country. It is very common throughout Central and North-western India, and extends through Southwestern Asia to Northern Africa. It has not been recorded from Ceylon or east of the Bay of Bengal, and is rare in Lower Bengal.

Habits. The hyaena is most common in the drier parts of India, and its chief haunts are rocky bills and deep ravines. I have on several occasions turned hyaenas out of grass or bushes, and Jerdon notices having met with some in sugar-cane fields ; but as a rule this animal remains in the daytime in caves amongst rocks, or in holes, dug by itself, in the sides of hills or of ravines.

It is a nocturnal animal, and although an occasional individual may be met with returning to its den in the early morning, its rambles are usually commenced after sunset and ended before sunrise. During the night it roams far and wide, and no tracks of wild animals are more common, in the countries where it is found, than its unmistakable footprints, very like a dog's in shape, but with the marks of the hind feet conspicuously smaller than those of the fore feet. Unlike the spotted hyaena, the striped species appears to be solitary in its habits, and it is rare to meet with more than two together.

The principal food of the hyaena consists of the carcases of animals that have died of disease or been killed by beasts of prey, and very often it carries off portions of the body to its den. I once shot one that was carrying away the hind leg of a nilgai.

The powerful jaws and large teeth are admirably adapted for crushing bones, which are consumed by hyaenas, after the flesh has been picked off by vultures and jackals. Occasionally sheep or goats, and more often dogs, are carried off by hyaenas, and the latter at all events are often taken alive to the animal's den. Jerdon relates an instance in which a small dog belonging to an officer at Dumoh was carried away, but procured alive the next day from a cave by some sepoys, who killed the hyaena. Fragments of bones are often found around a hyaena's retreat, together with the peculiar dung of the animal, which dries into hard white balls, known as alba graeca, chiefly composed of fragments of bone, and so indestructible that they have been found fossilized in caves that had been tenanted by extinct forms of these animals.

The hyaena is universally despised for its cowardice ; despite its powerful teeth, it rarely attemps to defend itself. It is occasionally ridden down and speared, but unless the ground is peculiarly favourable for horses, it will give a good run before being killed, not on account of its speed, for it is easily caught by a good horse, but from the way it turns and doubles. As a rule, it shows no fight when brought to bay. McMaster, in his excellent Notes, relates an instance in which a hyaena, after being slightly wounded by a spear, was pursued by a game old Arab horse who had lost his rider, and who attempted to seize the hyaena with his teeth and to strike him with his fore foot, an attack that the hunted animal only acknowledged by tucking its tail tightly between its legs.

The cry of the striped hyaena is much less frequently heard than that of the spotted species in the countries inhabited by each respectively, nor are their calls the same, though there is some similarity between them, and both are peculiarly loud and disagreeable.

Hyaenas are easily tamed if captured young, and become very docile and greatly attached to their masters.

The number of young in a litter is, I believe, 3 or 4, but about all points connected with the breeding more information is required. The period of gestation does not appear to have been observed."

[Quelle: Blanford, W. T. <1832 – 1905>: Mammalia. -- 1888 - 1891. -- (Fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma). -- S. 132 - 134. -- Online: -- Zugriff am 2007-09-06]