The spotted hyena is an unusual animal which has intrigued humans throughout recorded history. Also known as a laughing hyena due to a laughing-like sound it makes, the hyena is indigenous to Africa. It plays a large part in many African cultures, such as in folklore, superstitions and medicine traditions.
The spotted hyena is a social animal which prefers to live in clans of up to 80. The males can weight up to 121 and the females can weigh up to 141. In certain areas the species tends to be heavier, which experts feel is due to food abundance and the types of food available. This species is spotted but there are related species which have different fur markings.