Hyena Weight: How Much Do They Weigh?



The hyena is an incredibly fascinating carnivorous mammal found in many parts of the world. It has a remarkable ability to adapt to its environment and can live in a variety of habitats, from deserts to forests. But how much does this impressive animal weigh? What is the average weight of a hyena?

Hyenas come in four species, the most common of which is the Spotted hyena which typically weighs 88-190 pounds. Striped hyenas weigh between 49-121 pounds, and Brown hyenas usually weigh between 83-96 pounds, while the Aardwolf is the smallest family member, weighing only 15-33 pounds. 

In this article, we will compare hyena weights among their species and other similar animals.

Spotted hyena

How Does The Weight Of A Hyena Vary By Species?

One of the defining characteristics of hyenas is their weight, which can vary significantly between species.

Therefore, it is important to understand how the weight of a hyena varies by species.

Spotted Hyena

Spotted hyenas are the largest and can weigh between 88 to 190 pounds.

These animals have a bulky, muscular body structure due to their powerful jaws and large paws. Females are much heavier than males.

Striped Hyena

The Striped hyena is considerably smaller than its cousin, weighing between 49 and 121 pounds.

This species has a more slender build and is known to be an efficient hunter.

Striped hyena in grasslands

Brown Hyena

The Brown hyena is a medium-sized animal, with males typically weighing between 89 and 96 pounds while females weigh 83 to 89 pounds.


The Aardwolf is the lightest species of hyena, ranging from between 15 and 33 pounds. These animals are highly adapted for digging and have a slimmer body shape than other hyenas.

What Is the Average Weight of a Baby Hyena When Born?

Baby hyenas typically weigh about 2 pounds when born. The spotted hyena is born with its eyes open. They can run ten days after their birth. Mother hyenas nurses the baby for 12 to 16 months. 

During this time, the mother will aggressively guard her young against predators and protect them from other hyenas.

After weaning, baby hyenas live with their mothers for up to two years before leaving the den and joining an independent group.

Hyena cub

How Does a Hyena’s Weight Compare to Other Animals?

The hyena is one of the most recognizable animals in the animal kingdom.

These carnivorous mammals are known for their large heads, powerful jaws, and loud, whooping calls. Here is a comparison of some animals with Hyenas according to weight.

Hyenas vs. African Dog

The African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus) can weigh up to 79 pounds, whereas the Hyena can weigh up to 190 pounds. The only hyena that is lighter than the Wild Dog is the Aardwolf.

Hyenas have larger heads and shoulders than African Wild Dogs, which gives them a heavier appearance.

Additionally, hyenas have larger feet, which can also contribute to their extra weight.

Hyenas vs. Wolves

Wolves generally don’t exceed 119 pounds, but there have been some in Russia that have weighed up to 174 pounds. While this is impressive, it’s still not nearly the 190 pounds a hyena can weigh.

Hyenas have more muscle mass on their legs and chest, which accounts for their larger weight than the wolf.

Hyena vs. Jackals

Hyenas are closely related to felines but have their separate family Hyaenidae whereas jackals are canines. Compared to Jackals, hyenas are much heavier.

A hyena can weigh up to 190 pounds, whereas the heaviest jackal can only reach 33 pounds.

black backed jackal

Environmental Factors That Affect Hyena Weight

Various environmental factors can affect the weight of hyenas.

Understanding the impact of each of these factors on hyena body mass makes it possible to support their conservation efforts better and ensure they remain healthy in the wild.


Temperature explains most of the variation in hyena weight. Hyenas living in cooler climates tend to be larger than those in warmer climates. 

The amount and availability of food and seasonal changes to weather patterns also affect hyena body size.

Prey Availability

Hyenas living in areas with abundant prey tend to be heavier than those with low prey abundance. The competition for resources between predators also affects the hyena’s weight. 

If one species is more dominant or has greater access to food resources, the other species may become smaller due to limited access to food sources.

Human Interference and Disturbance

Human interference can also affect the hyena’s body size. When humans encroach on their habitat, they may reduce food availability and increase resource competition.

Additionally, human persecution can reduce the number of animals available to hunt, leading to further reductions in weight.

Social Dynamics and Competition for Resources.

Hyena packs have a strict hierarchy and social structure, and the largest animals within the group tend to take dominance over resources. 

This can create competition for food and leave some hyenas with less access to resources than their counterparts. These animals may be smaller due to the limited availability of food sources.

Final Thoughts On Hyena Weight

The weight of hyenas depends on the species, its environment, and various other factors. Hyenas can weigh anywhere from 15 pounds all the way up to 190 pounds.

The hyena’s weight can also be affected by seasonality, prey availability, social dynamics within a group, temperature, and human interference in their habitat.

It is important to keep these factors in mind when considering the health of hyenas and other wildlife species.

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