Crocuta crocuta Female Skull measures 11 inches. Crocuta crocuta Female Skull is museum quality polyurethane cast. 2-part skull (separate cranium and jaw). Made in USA. Known as Spotted Hyena.

The Spotted hyena or Crocuta crocuta, also known as the Laughing Hyena, is a hyena species, currently classed as the sole extant member of the genus Crocuta, native to Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Spotted Hyena is the largest extant member of the Hyaenidae, and is further physically distinguished from other species by its vaguely bear-like build, rounded ears, less prominent mane, spotted pelt, more dual-purposed dentition, fewer nipples, and the presence of a pseudo-penis in the female. It is the only placental mammalian species where females lack an external vaginal opening, having a pseudo-penis instead.

The skull of the Spotted Hyena differs from that of the Striped hyena by its much greater size and narrower sagittal crest. For its size, the Spotted Hyena has one of the most powerfully built skulls among the Carnivora.

The dentition is more dual purposed than that of other modern hyena species, which are mostly scavengers; the upper and lower third premolars are conical bone-crushers, with a third bone-holding cone jutting from the lower fourth premolar.

Their carnassials situated behind its bone crushing premolars, the position of which allows it to crush bone with its premolars without blunting the carnassials.

Combined with large jaw muscles and a special vaulting to protect the skull against large forces, these characteristics give the spotted hyena or C. crocuta a powerful bite.

The jaws of the Spotted Hyena outmatch those of the brown bear in bone crushing ability, and free ranging hyenas have been observed to crack open the long bones of giraffes measuring 7 cm in diameter.

The Spotted Hyena is a highly successful animal, being the most common large carnivore in Africa. Its success is due in part to its adaptability and opportunism; it is primarily a hunter but may also scavenge, with the capacity to eat and digest skin, bone and other animal waste.

In functional terms, the Spotted Hyena makes the most efficient use of animal matter of all African carnivores.

They display greater plasticity in its hunting and foraging behavior. It hunts alone, in small parties of 2 to 5 individuals or in large groups.

During a hunt, Crocuta crocuta often run through ungulate herds in order to select an individual to attack. Once selected, their prey is chased over a long distance at speeds of up to 60 mph.

The species has a largely negative reputation in both Western culture and African folklore. In the former, the species is mostly regarded as ugly and cowardly, while in the latter, it is viewed as greedy, gluttonous, stupid, and foolish, yet powerful and potentially dangerous.