Researchers have reported sightings of striped hyenas roaming amid packs of grey wolves in the Negev desert. The two species together may be an example of animals bending their own rules and instincts for survival purposes.
Both species generally do not interact with other carnivores, or at least not in a pacific way. Hyenas tend to fight, usurp kills from and make life miserable for others, from lions to leopards. Wolves, on the other hand, will make a meal out coyotes and dogs, as reported by Discovery News.
“Animal behavior is often more flexible than described in textbooks,” said Vladimir Dinets, study’s co-author, in a statement. “When necessary, animals can abandon their usual strategies and learn something completely new and unexpected. It is a very useful skill for people, too,” Dinets added.
First clues to their rare friendship came to surface four years ago when Dinets, from the University of Tennessee and Beniamin Eligulashvili, an Israel-based zoologist and also co-author of the published study, spotted track marks from both the hyenas and wolves in the same place, according to the Daily Mail UK.
The complete study was published in the journal Zoology in the Middle East. It was the result of proven theories and deep observation from their researchers.
Why work together?
Each species can bring something different to the possible partnership. Wolves are able to take down large prey themselves, while hyenas have a great nose than can smell and find, from miles away, dead animals worth eating. The combination of the two may help them survive the arid landscape.
The team also added that hyenas are adept at ferreting food out of human refuse, digging up buried garbage and opening cans and large boxes.
There is no clear reason of why the animals are working together, the research said that further studies are needed to determine whether the time they spotted was an aberration or it was something that occurs regularly.
Source: Discovery News