CM . . .
. Volume XXI Number 1. . . .September 5, 2014
If there was an official animal cuddly scale, puppies would rate 100:100 and the Komodo Dragon 0:100 while hyenas might get a 17:100, and thatís only because they eat ungulate dung. The hyenas in the colourfully mocking illustrations are, believe it or not, even less charming than the skulking miscreations caricatured in the movie Lion King: sycophantic, wily and malicious. So, if the hyena is looking to improve its image in the animal kingdom, it doesnít get one in this fact-filled, snarky little volume. They are an unpleasant lot! Gross as they may be, itís still fun to learn about them in this graphic style, non-politically correct book.
The spotted hyena is the one with which we are most familiar, but there are three species: the spotted, the brown and the striped. The brown and striped live alone or in small families and eat small animals, insects and carrion. However, the spotted is a social animal that lives in clans, with up to 100 individuals. Females dominate the clan, and the males help look after the young. Interestingly enough, we learn that the femaleís external genitalia are often mistaken for those of the males which makes for unhappy hyenas in zoo collections (p.34, p.60).
Ian Stewart teaches at Cecil Rhodes School in Winnipeg, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.