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"Dante, or the hyena poetising in tombs" --Twilight of the Idols (1889) by Friedrich Nietzsche

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Hyenas or Hyaenas (from Greek "ὕαινα" - hýaina) are the animals of the family Hyaenidae (Template:IPAc-en) of suborder feliforms of the Carnivora. It is the fourth smallest biological family in the Carnivora (consisting of four species), and one of the smallest in the mammalia.

Among hyenas, only the spotted and striped hyena have been known to become man-eaters. Hyenas are known to have preyed on humans in prehistory: Human hair has been found in fossilised hyena dung dating back 195,000 to 257,000 years. Some paleontologists believe that competition and predation by cave hyenas in Siberia was a significant factor in delaying human colonization of Alaska. Hyenas may have occasionally stolen human kills, or entered campsites to drag off the young and weak, much like modern spotted hyenas in Africa. The oldest Alaskan human remains coincide with roughly the same time cave hyenas became extinct, leading certain paleontologists to infer that hyena predation was what prevented humans from crossing the Bering strait earlier.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Hyena" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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