The striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena) is a species of hyena native to North and East Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. It is listed by the IUCN as near-threatened, as the global population is estimated to be under 10,000 mature individuals which continues to experience deliberate and incidental persecution along with a decrease in its prey base such that it may come close to meeting a continuing decline of 10% over the next three generations.
It is the smallest of the true hyenas and retains many primitive viverrid characteristics lost in larger species, having a smaller and less specialised skull. Though primarily a scavenger, large specimens have been known to kill their own prey. The striped hyena is a monogamous animal, with both males and females assisting one another in raising their cubs.
The striped hyena is a primarily nocturnal animal, which typically only leaves its den at the onset of total darkness, returning before sunrise. Striped hyenas typically live alone or in pairs, though groups of up to seven animals are known in Libya. They are generally not territorial animals, with home ranges of different groups often overlapping each other. Home ranges in the Serengeti have been recorded to be 44 k -72 km2, while one in the Negev was calculated at 61 km2. When marking their territory, striped hyenas use the paste of their anal pouch (hyena butter) to scent mark grass, stalks, stones, tree trunks and other objects. In aggressive encounters, the black patch near the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae is erected. When fighting, striped hyenas will bite at the throat and legs, but avoid the mane, which serves as a signalling device. When greeting each other, they lick the mid-back region, sniff each other's noses, extrude their anal pouch or paw each other's throats. The species is not as vocal as the spotted hyena, its vocalisations being limited to a chattering laugh and howling.
Source : Wikipedia