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Temporal range: Pleistocene – Recent
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Hyaenidae
Subfamily: Protelinae
Flower, 1869
Genus: Proteles
Binomial name
Proteles cristata
Aardwolf area.png
Aardwolf range

The aardwolf (Proteles cristata) is a small, insectivorous mammal, native to East Africa and Southern Africa. Its name means "earth wolf" in the Afrikaans / Dutch language. It is also called "maanhaar jackal" in Afrikaans,[2] or civet hyena, based on the secretions (civet) from their anal glands.[3]

The aardwolf is in the same family as the hyenas. Unlike many of its relatives in the order Carnivora, the aardwolf does not hunt large animals, or even eat meat on a regular basis; instead it eats insects, mainly termites – one aardwolf can eat about 250,000 termites during a single night by using its long, sticky tongue to capture them.[4][5]

The aardwolf lives in the scrublands of eastern and southern Africa – these are open lands covered with stunted trees and shrubs. The aardwolf is nocturnal, resting in burrows during the day and coming out at night to eat.

References[change | change source]

  1. Anderson M. & Mills G. 2008. Proteles cristatus: Aardwolf. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 22 March 2009. [1]
  2. Oxford English Dictionary Online
  3. Rieger, Ingo 1990. Hyenas. In Parker, Sybil P. (ed) Grzimek's Encyclopedia of Mammals, vol 3. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Publishing Company. ISBN 0-07-909508-9
  4. Mills, Gus & Harvey, Martin 2001. African predators. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, p71. ISBN 1-56098-096-6
  5. Anon 1998. Wildlife Fact File, Group 1. IMP Publishing, card 144. ISBN 978-1886614772