|Angie and her cub Winchester|
|Clovis and her cub Wasabi|
From the moment they’re born to about 14 months of age, hyena cubs depend completely on their mothers for food and protection. Even after they are weaned, young hyenas may rely on Mom for several more years to help them stake a claim on carcasses. Hyenas don’t fully develop the jaws that give them their famous bone-crushing strength until they’re 2 years old. A 2009 paper from our project even hypothesized that spotted hyenas may have developed female dominance for this very reason. Unable to defend themselves at a fresh kill or to crack open the bones of an abandoned carcass, a weaned adolescent hyena might never get a meal without a protective mom to step in. Essentially, female hyenas evolved to be bigger and meaner in order to give their kids more of a fighting chance (Watts et al., 2009).
|Muon with her cub Killer Queen.|
|Snapper with one of her cubs (either Martini or Julep. It's hard to tell when they're upside-down!)|
|TRex grooming her cub Where's the Goat.|
|Pike (the collared female) with her numerous offspring (Lance, Morningstar, Claymore and Arbaletta) and grand-offspring (Recluse and Tarantula). Nice family photo, guys!|
Watts, H. E., Tanner, J. B., Lundrigan, B. L., & Holekamp, K. E. (2009). Post-weaning maternal effects and the evolution of female dominance in the spotted hyena. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 276(1665), 2291–2298. http://doi.org.proxy.lib.umich.edu/10.1098/rspb.2009.0268