The aardwolf (Proteles cristata) is probably one of the few mammals that eat only insects. These are insectivores. They are found in shrublands of eastern and Southern Africa. The other name of aardwolf is maanhaar jackal.
Aardwolf looks pretty similar to striped hyena. However unlike aardwolf striped hyenas are carnivorous.
It has 20–30 cm (7.9–11.8 in) long tail with the shoulder height measuring at 40 to 50 cm (16 to 20 in).
Aardwolf weighs as much as 7–10 kg (15–22 lb). It has pale yellow to reddish coat. The aardwolf’s body is all covered with long furs.
It lives in Tanzania, Somalia, Zambia, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Uganda, and Egypt.
Aardwolf builds habitat in open areas such as bushland, savannas, grasslands, dry plains, but they do not make homes in mountainous regions.
They are nocturnal animals. Aardwolf sleeps all day in its burrow and hunt only at night. However when they are hungry they can hunt during day.
Aardwolf’s sounds include clucking and hoarse barking. Sometimes they also sound like a lion when they roar.
They are termite-eaters. Aardwolf can eat up to 250,000 termites in one night. They use their long sticky tongue to get into the termite mounds. Soldier termites usually leave their scent which aardwolf can detect. However aardwolf never eats all termites from the same mound—it leaves some termites so that they reproduce again to grow in numbers. Aardwolf also eats insect larvae.
Aardwolf travels about 8–12 km (5.0–7.5 mi) in the entire summer season.
The female produces 2 – 5 cubs but three are most common. Cubs weigh up to 200–350 g (7.1–12.3 oz) at birth but they can see right away.
Aardwolf can live up to 10 years in the wild. The maximum lifespan in captivity is recorded at 18 years.
Aardwolves are not endangered. The population is slightly threatened.