When Lions Abound, Hyenas Pick a New Menu
For as long as there have been lions and spotted hyenas, the carnivores have competed with each other. The gore-flecked conflicts over carcasses on the African grassland are just the latest skirmishes in a carnivoran competition that has been going on since the Pleistocene.
I root for the hyenas. There’s something strangely charming about the tittering predators, and their dining habits are incredibly flexible. Despite their public image as desperate scavengers, clans of hyenas are capable of taking down prey as large as juvenile elephants as well as reducing carcasses to piles of splinters with their exceptionally powerful jaws. This combination of skills has allowed them to thrive in lands stalked by their Ice Age competitors. As