THE AFRICAN AARDWOLF

The aardwolf 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”. The aardwolf is in the same family as the hyenas.

Aardwolves have yellow-grey fur with black stripes and bushy, black-tipped tails. Aardwolves have weaker jaws and more fur than hyenas, but they have similar humped backs and low hindquarters. Scientists sometimes place aardwolves in a family of their own, Protelidae, because aardwolves have five toes on their front feet, while hyenas have only four.

Habitat

 Aardwolves live in burrows, usually those abandoned by other animals. They are rarely seen because they only come out at night.

Feeding Habit

Aardwolves eat mainly termites—as many as 200,000 in a single night. There are two different species of termites in the aardwolf’s range, and when one species becomes dormant for the winter, aardwolves switch to the other species.

The Aardwolf is a  nocturnal animal that  is rarely seen. It is about  the size of a small jackal that  resembles a hyena in shape.One might  be fortunate to see one on a night game drive.

Unlike other hyenas, aardwolves are not very vocal animals and have no long-distance call. They are capable of making clucking and growling sounds aimed at intruders, though. Young or careless aardwolves can face predation from jackals, but their primary threat comes from man. They are frequently hit by automobiles in more populated areas and are occasionally shot by farmers who mistakenly blame the aardwolves for killing livestock; something they are not capable of doing.

Conservation

There is no conservation concern for this species.

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