The hyena and wolf are similar in that they live and hunt in groups. A group of hyenas is called a clan and follows a matriarch structure as a queen hyena rules them. A dominant male and female pair lead a wolf pack. In this article, I will take the strongest animal from each group, a female hyena and a male wolf, and we will have a hyena vs wolf fight.
I will compare their physical abilities to determine the most likely winner. I will compare the spotted hyena and the grey wolf as they are the largest of both species. Let’s see who wins.
Hyena vs Wolf: Size
Female hyenas are larger than their male counterparts. Weighing 44.5 – 64 kg (98 – 141 lbs) in Zambia, they are heavier, weighing 69 kg (152 lbs). They have a body length of 0.95 – 1.6 m (3 – 5.4 ft) long and stand at the shoulder at 70 – 91.5 cm (27.5 – 36 in).
In wolves, the males are the biggest, weighing, on average, 40 – 50 kg (88 – 110 lbs). The heaviest wolf recorded weighed 79 kg (174 lbs). They are 1.4 – 1.8 m (4.6 – 5.9 ft) in nose-to-tail length and have a shoulder height of 66 – 81 cm (26 – 32 in).
Hyena vs Wolf: Speed
Both the hyena and wolf can reach a max speed of 40 mph (64 kph) when chasing prey. They can only keep this max speed up for short durations. Both animals have a lot of stamina, able to chase animals over long distances.
Hyena vs Wolf: Attack Power
They both attack their prey with their teeth and do not use their claws in combat. The hyena used to be portrayed as a scavenger searching the savanna plains for carrion, but research shows they do as much hunting as lions. Even though the hyena and wolf live in groups, they are still efficient at hunting alone. Able to take down prey larger than themselves.
A hyena has a bite force of 1,000 psi, easily beating the wolf’s measly 400 psi. The wolf has the bigger canines though 6.3 cm (2.5 in) long. The hyena has short but thick canines with teeth designed to crush bone.
Hyena vs Wolf: Differences
Before writing this article, I had always assumed the hyena, based on its appearance, was a canine and therefore related to wolves. But the hyena is closer related to cats than they are to dogs. Their family group, called Hyaenidae, contains only four species of hyena, resulting in them being one of the smallest mammal groups. Wolves belong to the Canidae family.
The wolf and hyena have different body proportions. The spotted hyena has a thick neck and forequarters compared to its hind legs. They have a stubby tails making them shorter than the wolf, and when viewed from the side, you can see that their back slopes down towards their rear. The wolf has a more angular slim/athletic build.
Hyena vs Wolf Who Would Win in a Fight?
The hyena would win in a hyena vs wolf fight. They have a stronger bite force and are larger on average than a wolf. If the hyena lands a bite on the wolf’s leg, it can easily break it with its crushing power. Rendering the wolf helpless and unable to escape.
The wolf’s bite will still cause pain to the hyena, but hyenas are tough animals as they share their home with lions. A lion is bigger and more powerful than a wolf. So a hyena should have no problem fighting and defeating the wolf.