The Spotted Hyena, or Laughing Hyena, (Crocuta crocuta) is a carnivorous mammal of the family hyaenidae. It is the largest of the hyenas, and is native to sub-Saharan Africa, save for the Congo basin. It occurs in many different habitats, from extremely hot and arid lowland areas in its northern and southern ranges, to cold, mountainous terrains in East Africa and Ethiopia. The species can also survive near human habitations. The species is best known for one of its vocalisations, which resembles the sound of hysterical human laughter. Though often labeled incorrectly as a scavenger, the spotted hyena is actually a powerful hunter, the majority of its nourishment being derived from live prey.