|Scientific Name||Proteles cristata|
|Alternate Names||Civet Hyena, Earth Wolf, Maanhaar Jackal, Mane Jackal|
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.