If it looks like a hyena, lives in Africa like hyenas, but eats termites instead of meat… it is an aardwolf (Proteles cristata)! This smallest member of the hyena family has two separate populations in Africa, one in the south and one in the eastern “horn” area of the continent. Its paws and jaws are not designed like other termite eaters (think: anteaters), and its teeth are not like other hyenas — they are not so good at tearing flesh. While aardwolves will sometimes resort to eating small mammals and birds, this is only during the coldest and wettest times of year. Otherwise, it takes advantage of its nearly hairless muzzle and long sticky tongue to lap up thousands of termites each night. Farmers appreciate THIS hyena…!

Proteles cristata aardwolf africa african mammals baby fur cute adorable unusual uncommon unknown species insectivores

ARKive   |   ADW   |   iNaturalist
Hyena Specialist Group
Wednesday Hyena
Our Wild World
Siyabona Africa

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