May 2017: Aardwolf

Scientific Name   Proteles cristata
Alternate Name   Civet Hyena, Earth Wolf, Gray Jackal, Maanhaar Jackal, Mane Jackal, Maned Jackal
Alternate Names   Cackle, Clan
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Hyaenidae Proteles
  Least Concern   Nocturnal   Solitary   Carnivore
  Africa   Savanna, Shrubland, Grassland
  38-50 cm.   15-20 in.   53-102 cm.   21-40 in.
  7-14 kg.   17-31 lb.   8-19 yr.
Fore Hind

The aardwolf (Proteles cristata,) is the smallest and most unique member of the Hyaenidae family, categorized under the order Carnivora. Two subspecies are usually recognized, Proteles cristata cristata located in South Africa and Proteles cristata septentrionalis residing in eastern and northeastern Africa. As a mammal, the aardwolf has fur that varies in color from pale yellows to red-browns and bares striking black stripes: three along the body, one or two on both the fore- and hind-quarters, and several irregular stripes on the legs. However, unlike most mammals, it feeds almost primarily on termites making it a true myrmecophage. The aardwolf is listed as “Least Concern” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

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