The BUSH NUGGET:
*Why do hyenas have a sloping back?*
Sloping backs are thought to be an adaptation to a nomadic lifestyle or one where an animal needs to cover large distances on a daily basis – as is the case with foraging hyenas. A flat back, where the front and the hind legs are the same length results in more gravitational pressure and fatigue, whereas a sloping back as a consequence of longer front legs offsets this pressure allowing the animal to walk for long periods and greater distances before tiring. The front legs are longer and larger, designed to carry the heavily muscled shoulders and neck, and powerfully built heads and jaws. The forefeet in turn are larger, and this is particularly noticeable in the spoor of brown hyenas where the size difference is greater because their backs have a greater slop (with small hindquarters) than their spotted hyena counterparts- a necessity because they need to cover much bigger distances in their habitats while scavenging for scarce resources.
The forequarters are the main food-leverage mechanism, the head and neck almost balanced by the hindquarters. The pivotal forelegs supply ample leverage for tugging (pulling) pieces off carcasses and then transporting these pieces high off the ground for some distances.
The hind legs seem to be arbitrary baggage, in place only to stop the rear end from dragging on the ground 😂.
That’s it for today and thanks for making it this far. Bless your heart.
A great day to y’all.