The spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta), also known as the laughing hyena, is the sole member of the genus Crocuta, one of only four species of hyena and is native to Sub-Saharan Africa. In a previous post, I wrote about wild dogs and I must admit that hyenas and wild dogs look a little like each other, run in packs and are carnivores who also scavenge, catching prey with their teeth. In addition, both eat food quickly and may store it, and their calloused feet with large, blunt, nonretractable claws are adapted for running and making sharp turns. Surprisingly, hyenas are more closely related to felines (cats) than canines (dogs). The hyena is an example of “convergent evolution”. Similar traits can arise when different species live in similar ways and/or a similar environment, and so face the same environmental factors. When occupying similar ecological niches (that is, a distinctive way of life) similar problems can lead to similar solutions.