Chimpanzee vs Hyena

Who would win in a fight to the death?

As with humans, chimpanzees care for their young for years and can live into their mid-40s.

Chimpanzees share 98% of our genes with us, so they are our closest relatives. Animals that live in complex societies are intelligent, social, and can be sometimes violent.

Spotted hyenas have a similar appearance to dogs, but they are more biologically related to cats, civets, and genets.

The spotted hyena is also well known as the laughing hyena.

They are strong, agile and cunning hunters.

Social Structure

Chimpanzees can form communities of 10 to 180 individuals, they are highly social animals. Females can move into neighboring communities when they are old enough to breed. Males however remain in their native communities.

Male chimpanzees’ territory needs to be defended against other rival communities, and many members get killed as a result. Other than humans, only chimpanzees have been observed to engage in coordinated attacks on one another.

Throughout the year, male and female chimpanzees mate with several partners. It serves social functions as well, like developing bonds between individuals, and occurs more often than is required to facilitate reproduction.

Male Chimpanzees plan hunting strategies together. Many times they target smaller monkeys, corner them, then kill them in a coordinated manner.

Chimpanzees have been observed to eat fruits and enjoy them together as a group.

The social dominance hierarchy in spotted hyena clans is similar to a lunch line, where females and their cubs who are higher ranking get the first crack at food.

Male migration plays a part in this phenomenon. The male leaves the clan that he was born into after puberty. The lowest-ranking male hyenas in the new clan are those who move to another clan.

Immigrant males are not so unfortunate, as females tend to mate with them more often than native males, so the gene pool is diversified.

In light of this hypothesis, males are not under pressure to compete for mates because females choose which males to mate with. Therefore, male aggression is lower because males don’t compete with females.

Hyenas also have hierarchical relationships within their clan among the females, which are usually stable for many years.

Size and Body Description

When standing upright like a human, chimps reach a height of 3 to 5.5 feet (1.2 to 1.7 meters). Their feet and knuckles, however, are used most often when walking.

There is a slight difference in size between males and females. The average male weighs about 154 pounds in captivity and can weigh up to 70 kilograms (110 pounds) in the wild. Females usually weigh up to 50 kilograms.

Despite being smaller than humans, Chimpanzees are about 1.5 times stronger and faster, due to their fast-twitch muscle fibers.

Chimpanzees’ coat is either brown or black, their actual underlining skin color is white, The faces of young animals are often white or pinkish. Older males and females usually develop baldness on their foreheads and gray hair on their backs.

Spotted Hyenas are the largest species of hyenas, and they are found in Africa. Their average height is 70 cm (27 inches), while their average length is 0.95 m (3.1 feet).

Females weigh 121 – 154 lbs (55 – 70 kg) while males weigh 99 – 132 lbs (45 to 60 kg).

Spotted Hyenas differ in size according to their region, with the Zambian variety weighing more than those in other areas in Africa.

Behavior and Hunting Style

Chimpanzees eat around 80 different varieties of food, including seeds, fruit, leaves, bark, honey, flowers, and insects.

Aside from that, monkeys and small antelopes are also hunted by chimpanzees for meat. Chimps are intelligent animals. They have been seen to use tools to get food.

Spotted Hyenas show impressive hunting skills when they go on a hunt. They can even chase away lions from kills when they are in a large group.

Hyenas are capable of sprinting at speeds up to 60 kmh (37 miles per hour) in pursuit of prey over long distances.

Young and weak ungulates are often targeted by spotted hyenas, but even healthy adults can be killed by these predators.

If the Hyena clan is big enough they can hunt larger prey, like young rhinoceroses, wildebeests, zebras, and Cape buffaloes. Smaller clans however pursue warthogs, impalas and Gazelles.

These animals have powerful jaws and can crush bones easily. Their bite force is even stronger than most big cats.

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Now back to the original question, who would win in a fight between a Chimp and a Hyena?

A chimpanzee is an extremely powerful ape and its strength can match its aggression.

In battle, they can also use their intelligence to their advantage. The most common predator of these monkeys is the leopard, which they have been known to attack in groups and kill.

Among the predators of the African plains, spotted hyenas come in second to lions. Hyenas are excellent hunters, but Lions steal hyenas’ food more often than the other way around. So they have more kill count than lions making them more experienced predators.

These creatures are known for their very powerful jaws, which can take down anything up to a zebra alone. They can also take down huge game like wildebeests.

Hyenas can easily kill small leopards, and leopards kill chimps, so you already know the outcome of this fight.

Despite their predatory instincts, chimpanzees do not seem to be highly successful hunters. Chimps often take several attacks to kill another chimp, even a small monkey, since their attacks are not efficient.

As opposed to blunt force trauma and grabbing which Chimps use most often than not, jaws tend to do much more damage. A hyena’s bite is more powerful than a lion. Chimps, on the other hand, typically attack the faces and groins of other chimps, because it is instinctive for them to attack vital areas.

Even though they are strong, chimps have a fatal evolutionary flaw. They have very close connections between the skin and the muscles so bleeding is common.

It is true that Chimps can handle trauma better than humans and can take shocks more effectively, but they can still bleed to death just as easily. Whenever the chimp is repeatedly bitten by a hyena, that will be devastating.

Hyenas can withstand being hit hard on the head with a great deal of force, despite their small size. Hyenas are true predators compared to chimps and have greater fighting experience either solo or in groups.

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