Feral February Episode 12 – The art of the aardwolf

Throughout the month of February, which I am calling “Feral February,” I am going to do something a little bit different – I’m going to create a series of theme posts every week day about my favourite things in the world: Animals.

Today’s animal is the aardwolf.

Unlike its name suggests, the African aardwolf is not related to the aardvark (although it does eat termites with its long and sticky tongue), but is actually closely related to the hyena.

Resembling a small hyena, the aardwolf has three vertical stripes running down each side of its body, with diagonal stripes along its neck and legs. Like other hyenas, its longer front legs than back, pointed ears and a distinctive mane that goes from its neck to shoulders than can stand up if the animal needs to appear larger.

The aardwolf. Photo courtesy of Greg Hume. Source.

The aardwolf. Photo courtesy of Greg Hume. Source.

Originally thought as solitary animals, aardwolves are socially monogamous, meaning they form mating pairs and help raise to young until they can fend for themselves and leave the territory. However, a dominant males may also mate with other females within neighboring territories. Unlike most termite-feeding mammals like the anteater and aardvark, the aardwolf does not dig into a termite nest, as it lacks claws. Therefore, the aardwolf licks them up from the ground and may eat over 200,000 termites in one night.

Daily dose of trivia:

Aardwolves have areas within their territories for urination and defecation called middens. Individuals dig a hole in the midden each time they visit, and once they do their business, they pile dirt on top and cover it up

Comment (1)

  1. A round of applause for your article. Will read on…

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