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Proteles cristatus

Description - Other Names - Distribution - Taxonomy

Aardwolf (Proteles cristatus) Silhouette

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Aardwolf (Proteles cristatus) © Toursa

The Aardwolf's habitat includes open patches around pans and grassy plains. Its distribution is dictated by the availability of termites, which is its principal food. Their diet is almost entirely insects. They eat no meat, as their teeth are ill-adapted to tougher foods.

The Aardwolf is about the size of a small jackal and resembles a hyena in over all shape. It's yellow-brown to dull yellow, long and coarse fur, has distinct vertical black stripes on the flanks and some on the legs. The long hair down the neck and back is raised only when the animal is frightened or threatened. The muzzle and feet are black, and the ears are long, narrow and pointed.

The Aardwolf is a solitary animals and occasionally observed in family parties of four or five. They are nocturnal animals, sleeping or hiding in old Antbear holes, or holes which they dig themselves. Droppings are usually deposited at a number of latrine sites within the home range and grass-stalks are marked with a secretion from the anal glands.

Their defence consists of using their long canine teeth and if necessary, they bristle their manes, which makes them appear much longer, especially in the dark.

Litters of 2-4 young are born from September to April after a gestation period of ±2 months. Births are usually during the summer months. They are born in a burrow and if the mother is disturbed, she may move the cubs, carrying them by the scruff of their necks, to a new den.

Other Names


Distribution map of the Aardwolf
Distribution map
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