What you see is what you eat

21 July 2008. Berkeley, California

0730. I met Mary and the dedicated crew of hyena lovers at the Field Station for the Study of Behavior, Ecology, and Reproduction. I will be filming hyenas feeding on their daily diet of bone and ground meat.

Currently, the colony maintains around 32 spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta). I am able to film individuals feeding on bone in twenty separate feeding events daily with the help of keepers Marshall and Michelle.

I am using the footages to describe typical bone cracking behavior, including the probable muscles involved in the task, and how they can be better incorporated into computerized models of biting in fossil hyenas.

In other news, I am also examining skulls of spotted hyenas in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (University of California, Berkeley). Furthermore, I am spending time in the University of California Museum of Paleontology looking at fossil bone-cracking dogs, and the sabertooth predator Barbourofelis.

From Foggy Berkeley,


1 comment:

Spencer said...

It's gotta be nice, being able to see these guys without having to track them down in some blazing sahara.

Barbourofelis? Hmm, I am unfamiliar....