Bridgena Barnard/Rex Features
This grinning hyena looks more than pleased to kick off 2013.
Photographer Bridgena Barnard captured the hilarious sight in South Africa's Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
She told Rex Features: "The Hyena with his Motley pattern coat entertained us like no other. A clown deluxe!
"Every time the camera clicked he juggled and gave a new pose, moving around and entertaining the photographer with absolute delight. Like a truly talented "Kings Fool", he left this laugh for last - seeming to grin from ear to ear.
"He did not wait for the encore, just disappeared in the grass like a soft breeze."
Hyenas make a variety of vocalisations, including howling screams, wailing calls, and the well-known "laughter" used to alert other clan members up to three miles away of a food source.
The giggling sounds of a hyena contain important information about the animal's status, say scientists.
A study to decipher their so-called "laugh" published in the journal BMC Ecology says the pitch of the giggle reveals a hyena's age, while variations in the frequency of notes convey information about the animal's social rank.
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