Hyena Butter: Everything You Did And Didn’t Want To Know

Get your butt-, er, book here:
Hyenas communicate via an information-dense physical medium (hyena butter) – and now MinuteEarth does too (book).

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Kate Yoshida | Script Writer and Narrator
David Goldenberg | Director
Arcadi Garcia i Rius | Illustration, Video Editing and Animation
Nathaniel Schroeder | Music

MinuteEarth is produced by Neptune Studios LLC

Sarah Berman • Arcadi Garcia i Rius
David Goldenberg • Julián Gustavo Gómez
Melissa Hayes • Alex Reich • Henry Reich • Peter Reich
Ever Salazar • Leonardo Souza • Kate Yoshida

Hyena audio clips by Dr. Kenna Lehmann

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Hofer, H., M. L. East, I. Sammang, and & M. Dehnhard. 2001. Analysis of volatile compounds in scent-marks of spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) and their possible function in olfactory communication. Chemical Signals in Vertebrates 9:141–148. Retrieved from:

Theis, K.R., Venkataraman, A., Dycus, J. A., Koonter, K.D.S., Schmitt-Matzen, E.N., Wagner. A.P., Holekamp, K.E., & Schmidt, T.M (2013) Symbiotic bacteria appear to mediate hyena social odors. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110: 19832–19837. Retrieved from:

Theis, K. R., Schmidt, T. M. & Holekamp, K. E. (2012) Evidence for a bacterial mechanism for group-specific social odors among hyenas. Scientific Reports 2, 615. Retrieved from:

MinuteEarth (2021). MinuteEarth Explains: How Did Whales Get So Big? & Other Curious Questions about Animals, Nature, Geology and Planet Earth. Retrieved from:

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