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At one time amazing animals inhabited our planet. Dinosaurs were nature's most impressive creations. But after them came the giant mammals. During the Miocene, hungry and vicious Dinocrocuta gigantea, giant hyena-like predators, roamed the territory of modern China in search of food. Spotted hyenas, which now live in Africa, weigh an average of 60-70 kilograms. But their prehistoric relatives reached 250-300 kg. More than a modern tiger or lion. But according to some reports, the largest individuals Dinocrocuta gigantea could weigh up to 400 kg. The giant hyena had very powerful jaws, with which it could "grind" the bones of herbivores into powder. By the standards of herbivorous mammals, even 400 kg is very small. But prehistoric hyenas were not afraid to attack very large prey. For example, scientists found traces of Dinocrocuta gigantea teeth on the skull of a hylotherium, a hippopotamus-like creature of the rhinoceros family with tusks instead of horns. The weight of the adult male reached 1.5-2.5 tons. It was a serious opponent, but the prehistoric hyena did not mind eating it. Once again I would like to draw attention to the fact that the teeth marks were found not on the tibia or femur bone, but on the front part of the animal's skull. In fact, the hyena attacked right in the forehead. It is frightening to imagine what kind of beast it was. In addition to the chilateria proper, the diet of the fearless predator also included the ancient ancestors of giraffes, three-toed horses and mastodons, which were very similar to modern elephants. Dinocrocuta gigantea literally translates as the giant horrible hyena. And this predator quite justified its name. In general, for its time, it was the largest predator in Asia. Competing with it could only mahyroids - saber-toothed cats that weighed about 250 kg. Scientists have not yet figured out whether Dinocrocuta gigantea was an active hunter or just a "scavenger. It is also not known for certain how these predators hunted: alone or together. But one thing is clear - their jaws and skull were very strong. Therefore, prehistoric hyenas could not only inflict a crushing bite, but also eat the hardest parts of the body. They crunched their bones as easily as we crunch chips today. The Dinocrocuta gigantea was replaced by the spotted hyena, the largest and strongest. Its jaws are particularly strong. It is known that the jaw pressure of the spotted hyena is 74 atmospheres, which is more than that of a lion, a tiger and a wolf. Its weight can reach 82 kg, and males are always noticeably smaller than females. By the way, they have a matriarchy. The alpha female is the leader of the pack, followed by other females and only then the males. If there are two females in the offspring, from the moment of birth they start fighting, as a result of which most often only one of them remains. And the children of the alpha female automatically gain high hierarchical status. Spotted hyenas are excellent hunters, although they do not disdain carrion. Their stomachs have an amazing feature to digest everything in it, including hooves, bones and horns of mammals. The body of the spotted hyena is covered with short, coarse hair with undercoat. The long hair covers only the neck, creating a light mane feeling. The body color is pale brown with a darkened mask-like muzzle. The coat of the spotted hyena is covered with dark spots. The striped hyena is the second largest hyena. Unlike spotted hyenas, striped hyenas have smaller females than males. However, this is still quite a large animal - up to 65 kg. While other hyaenas are meat-eaters exclusively, striped hyaenas eat all types of food: meat, vegetables, fruits, insects, seeds and nuts. They differ from their spotted congeners also in the fact that they live in families, not in packs. Usually there are two adults in the family: a male, a female and their offspring. In a year, young hyenas separate from their parents and create families on their own, although they maintain relations with the old family. This species of hyenas is known for "building" cities, in which areas are allocated for individual families, space for toilets and even have dust baths, in which these animals like to lie down at leisure. Striped hyenas have long, shaggy hair with a gray mane on a long neck and back. The coloration is yellowish gray with vertical black stripes on the body and horizontal stripes on the legs.