African Aardwolf Facts

African aardwolf

The African aardwolf (Proteles cristata) is a small, insectivorous mammal, native to East Africa and Southern Africa. Its name means “earth wolf” in the Afrikaans / Dutch language. It is also called “maanhaar jackal” in Afrikaans, or civet hyena, based on the secretions (civet) from their anal glands.

Although the African Aardwolf mates for life, the male is always having affairs — he mates with as many females as he can. The only other mammal to do this so often is the human.

However, he does have other interests, and this one he is pretty good at and that is, he guards his young for about 6 hours a night while the mother is out foraging. He keeps a lookout and patrols the den area to chase away predators, usually jackals. Jackals are probably their greatest enemy.

The little African Aardwolf is a rare sighting as they are mainly active at night and still hardly seen — they are nocturnal animals. A pair’s territory can be between 1 – 4 square miles, and this territory they defend quite well. If an intruder (another Aardwolf) wanders into their area, they will chase it to the border of their territory — fights are rare, and if they occur, it is usually only at breeding time. This hyena is different to the other hyenas because Aardwolves have a breeding season, the others usually breed at any time. Mother nature does not enforce that rule with them.

  • Defense and fighting — this is the reason why they have canines, as they do not need teeth as they eat insects, mainly termites.

The Aardwolf is a small animal, and the smallest of the hyenas only reaching about 14 kg (30 pounds).

The harmless, insectivore (eats insects) African Aardwolf is tiny and when mature, weighs as little as 20 to 30 pounds (9 to 14 kilograms).
While other hyenas weigh 57 to 190 pounds (26 to 86 kilograms).90 pounds (26 to 86 kilograms).

First 1: Spotted hyena (a predator — the largest, and the only hyenas that mainly hunts prey).

2: Brown hyena (mainly scavenger — except in Namibia where it often preys on seal pups. This is the rarest of the hyenas)

3: Striped hyena (mainly a scavenger, and the only hyena not only found in Africa — Middle East, the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent).

4: Aardwolf (by far the smallest and most harmless of the hyenas — it eats insects, mainly termites).

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