Any one of four different species of canine-like predatory animals, but most people when they say hyena mean specifically the Spotted Hyena. upload.wikimedia.org They are known for their distinctive laugh-like call, being a rival for Lions, and wrongly as cowardly, vicious scavengers. They live in matriarchal clans of up to 80 individuals. They are intelligent, with studies indicating that their social intelligence is on par with some primates, even outperform chimpanzees on cooperative problem-solving tests. Despite what most people think, most of what Hyenas eat are things they killed themselves. They are good hunters, a single hyena can bring down a wildebeest by chasing it till it gets tired, In fact, Lions scavenge off of Hyena kills more then hyenas scavenge off of Lion kills.