How fast can a Hyena run?

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A hyena is a powerful and agile runner, capable of reaching speeds of up to 37 miles per hour (60 kilometers per hour) in short bursts.

Hyenas have strong leg muscles and a sturdy physique, allowing them to accelerate fast and maintain their pace over short distances. Their endurance, however, is not as great as that of some other long-distance runners in the animal kingdom.

Hyenas rely on their extraordinary stamina to participate in long-distance chases rather than maintaining maximum speeds for extended periods of time.

Hyenas are known for their amazing speed and agility, which allows them to be formidable predators as well as successful scavengers in their environments.

When it comes to running, these incredible creatures can reach incredible speeds in brief bursts.

Hyenas have considerable propulsive force in their rear limbs, which allows them to accelerate quickly.

Their forelimbs are slightly shorter but more robust, allowing them to maintain balance and agility during high-speed pursuits.


Hyenas can reach speeds of up to 37 miles per hour (60 km per hour) due to their unusual body composition. This incredible speed is equivalent to that of some of the fastest terrestrial animals, such as lions and cheetahs.

two hyena crossing concrete road

How long can a hyena run for?

While hyenas are capable of amazing bursts of speed, they are not built for long-distance or sustained running like certain other animal endurance runners. Their physical attributes and hunting strategies are better suited for short, intense chases rather than long-distance running.

Hyenas’ body structure demonstrates adaptations for power and strength rather than endurance.

They have strong bone structures and muscular bodies, which provide them agility and strength for swift movements and abrupt changes in direction. These features, however, do not favour long durations of continuous running.

Hyenas are noted for their endurance rather than their ability to maintain fast speeds over extended distances.

While determining a precise time limit for how long a hyena can run is difficult, observations and studies imply that their stamina is restricted.

During rigorous action, their bodies create heat, and prolonged running can result in overheating and tiredness.

Hyenas often use a combination of stalking, chasing, and smart manoeuvring to keep up with their victim during a hunt. Rather than depending entirely on running speed, they use brains, collaboration, and coordinated strikes to kill their prey.

Hyenas compensate for their poor stamina by sustaining pressure on the prey until it becomes susceptible or weary by using their persistence and coordinated hunting strategies.

Hyenas are also opportunistic scavengers, relying on their excellent sense of smell to discover and scavenge carcasses.

Their sprinting ability helps them to travel vast distances in quest of food in scavenging settings. They can detect the scent of a carcass rapidly and navigate their way to it before other scavengers do.

While the exact duration of a hyena’s running capacity varies based on factors such as fitness, individual condition, and ambient conditions, it is widely accepted that hyenas are better suited for brief bursts of speed rather than long-distance running.

Their physical adaptations and hunting techniques place an emphasis on strength, power, and tenacity over endurance.

Finally, while hyenas have excellent athletic ability, they are not designed for sustained or lengthy running. Their bodies are more equipped for short bursts of speed and agility, which are essential for hunting and scavenging.

The endurance of hyenas lies in their persistence, cooperation, and strategic hunting techniques rather than their ability to maintain high speeds over extended distances.

Is a hyena faster than a lion?

Hyenas are not faster than lions in terms of pure speed. Lions are recognised for their incredible speed and agility, particularly during brief sprints and bursts.

In short distances, lions may reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour (80 km per hour), making them faster than hyenas.

Lions have a slim, sleek body structure that is well-suited to fast acceleration and high-speed pursuits. Their lengthy legs and strong muscles aid in their ability to attain high speeds.

This advantage in speed is especially noticeable during hunts, when lions rely on their agility and quickness to outmanoeuvre and catch their prey.

It is crucial to note, however, that speed is only one factor of hunting success. Other methods and skills used by hyenas make them formidable predators in their own right.

Hyenas are renowned for their extraordinary endurance, persistence, and cooperative hunting techniques.

Unlike lions, which frequently hunt in small groups, hyenas thrive in organised group hunts, where they can systematically wear down their prey via collaboration and tenacity.

Hyenas can compete with lions in terms of overall hunting skills and success rate. Their intellect, endurance, and ability to work as a team compensate for their slightly slower top speed.

Hyenas have powerful jaws, excellent stamina, and a stubborn disposition that allows them to hunt and scavenge on larger animals successfully.

In conclusion, while hyenas are not faster than lions in terms of pure speed, they possess other attributes that make them successful predators. Lions are renowned for their remarkable speed and agility, whereas hyenas rely on endurance, teamwork, and persistence to excel in hunting.

Both species have unique adaptations and strategies that contribute to their respective hunting success in their specific ecological niches.

What is the fastest hyena?

The spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta) is the fastest of the hyena species. Spotted hyenas are recognised for their incredible speed and agility, which allows them to pursue down prey and engage in high-speed chases.

Spotted hyenas have strong, powerful legs that allow them to traverse a lot of ground in a short amount of time. They have a slim and streamlined body shape and are built for both endurance and speed. This feature permits them to maintain high speeds for longer periods of time than other hyena species.

While specific assessments of their speed in the field are difficult to get, spotted hyenas are said to be capable of reaching speeds of up to 37 miles per hour (60 kilometres per hour). This top speed is comparable to that of a human sprinter.

Spotted hyenas can reach this speed in short bursts of hard running, such as when hunting or pursuing prey.

Spotted hyenas are also notable for their agility. They have flexible spines, strong muscles, and long limbs that allow them to change direction quickly while maintaining their pace.

This agility comes in handy during chases, letting them to negotiate difficult terrain and hunt evasive prey.

While the spotted hyena is the quickest hyena species, other hyena species, such as the striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena) and brown hyena (Hyaena brunnea), are not as well known for their speed.

These species’ body proportions and adaptations prioritise other aspects of their behaviour and ecological functions, such as scavenging and nocturnal behaviours.

Finally, the spotted hyena is known for being the fastest of the hyena species. Spotted hyenas may reach speeds of up to 37 miles per hour (60 kilometres per hour) during brief bursts of hard running due to their long legs, slim bodies, and agility.

This agility and speed contribute to their success as predators, allowing them to pursue animals and compete for resources in their environments.

What is the difference in speed between different species of Hyenas?

The different species of hyenas exhibit variations in their speed capabilities due to differences in body structure, adaptations, and ecological roles.

Here is an overview of the speed differences between the three main hyena species:

1. Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta): The spotted hyena is the fastest of the hyena species. It has a thin and streamlined physique, long limbs, and powerful muscles, allowing it to sprint at speeds of up to 37 miles per hour (60 kilometres per hour). When compared to other hyena species, spotted hyenas are recognised for their stamina and ability to sustain a good pace over longer distances.

2. Striped Hyena (Hyaena hyaena): In general, the striped hyena is slower than the spotted hyena. It has a stockier physique with shorter legs, which limits its ability to run fast. While evidence on the striped hyena’s top speed is scarce, it is estimated that it may attain speeds of up to 30 miles per hour (48 km per hour) in brief bursts. However, rather than participating in high-speed chases, the striped hyena’s hunting strategy focuses on scavenging.

3. Brown Hyena (Hyaena brunnea): In terms of speed, the brown hyena is the slowest of the three hyena species. When compared to the other species, it has a more robust and bulkier body. Brown hyenas’ legs are shorter, limiting their maximal running speed. They are not designed for fast pursuits like spotted hyenas. Instead, during chases, they rely on their incredible endurance and persistence. The average running speed of a brown hyena is reported to be around 25 miles per hour (40 kilometres per hour).

It is crucial to remember that these speed estimations are only estimates and may vary depending on the individual and the conditions. Age, health, physical condition, and the nature of the pursuit can all have an impact on hyena speed.

Furthermore, hyenas are opportunistic predators that survive by combining hunting, scavenging, and cooperating behaviours rather than relying primarily on their running speed.

How do Hyenas compare in speed to other animals?

Hyenas possess impressive speed and agility, allowing them to compete with various animals in terms of running capabilities.

Here is a comparison of hyena speed to other animals:

Cheetah: Cheetahs are renowned as the fastest land animals, capable of reaching incredible speeds. They can sprint at speeds up to 70 miles per hour (113 kilometers per hour) in short bursts. Compared to hyenas, cheetahs are significantly faster, surpassing their running abilities by a considerable margin.

Lion: Lions are recognised for their power and quickness, especially when running short distances. During high-speed pursuits, they can achieve speeds of up to 50 miles per hour (80 km per hour). Lions are faster than hyenas in terms of speed. During hunts, hyenas compensate for their slightly slower pace through endurance and persistence.

African Wild Dogs: African wild dogs, often known as painted dogs, excel at endurance running. They have amazing endurance, allowing them to travel at a constant speed across great distances. African wild dogs may outrun hyenas at rates of up to 37 miles per hour (60 km per hour). While hyenas may not have the endurance of wild dogs, they do have a similar running speed.

Greyhounds: Greyhounds are well-known in the canine world for their speed. These slim and agile dogs may reach top speeds of 45 miles per hour (72 km per hour). Greyhounds outrun hyenas and most other animals in terms of speed.

Wildebeests: The annual migration of wildebeests across large distances in search of food and water is well-known. During their migratory trips, they can achieve speeds of up to 50 miles per hour (80 km per hour). Wildebeests are faster than hyenas, although they rely on endurance rather than quick bursts of speed.

Zebras: Zebras are well-known for their speed and ability to avoid predators. When fleeing potential predators, they may attain speeds of up to 40 miles per hour (64 km per hour). While zebras have a modest speed advantage over hyenas, hyenas compensate through persistence and cooperative hunting techniques.

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