FaunaFocus: Aardwolf

Aardwolf FaunaFact 1

The aardwolf has very large ears and eyes for its size.

Aardwolf FaunaFact 2

Aardwolves are family oriented, with males and females living together in a territory.

Aardwolf FaunaFact 3

Unlike other members of the Hyaenidae family, Aardwolves have five digits on their front feet and four on their hind feet.

Aardwolf FaunaFact 4

There is no sexual dimorphism in the body size of the aardwolf.

Aardwolf FaunaFact 5

Aardwolves occur solely on the continent of Africa.

Aardwolf FaunaFact 6

The aardwolf superficially resembles the striped hyaena, but it’s less than half the size and its stripes are much more regular.

Aardwolf FaunaFact 7

The coarse hairs of the aardwolf’s dorsal crest are the longest of all carnivores.

Aardwolf FaunaFact 8

The aardwolf is significantly smaller than all other hyaenas.

Aardwolf FaunaFact 9

The most noticeable differences between aardwolves and hyenas are in the skull and dentition.

Aardwolf FaunaFact 10

The aardwolf is slightly larger than a jackal or a fox.

Aardwolf FaunaFact 11

There are two separate populations of aardwolves.

Aardwolf FaunaFact 12

Unlike most other ant- or termite-eating mammals, which have to dig to access their prey, the aardwolf licks termites from the soil surface using its broad, sticky tongue.

Aardwolf FaunaFact 13

Aardwolves have aggressive territorial disputes and frequently chase jackals from their breeding dens.

Aardwolf FaunaFact 14

The use of the aardwolf’s canines for fighting is clearly reflected in their wear, as in old animals they are broken down to rounded stumps.

Aardwolf FaunaFact 15

The black-backed jackal is the aardwolf’s greatest natural enemy.

Aardwolf FaunaFact 16

At about 1-year old when the next year’s cubs have emerged from the den, aardwolf cubs have generally left their natal territory.

Aardwolf FaunaFact 17

The record lifespan for an aardwolf is 18 years 11 months.

Aardwolf FaunaFact 18

If an aardwolf parent dies, a cub of the same sex usually remains in its natal territory.

Aardwolf FaunaFact 19

The aardwolf is considered one of the indicator species for the Somalia-Kalahari semidesert axis.

Aardwolf FaunaFact 20

Male aardwolves help in rearing the young by guarding the den against black-backed jackals.

Aardwolf FaunaFact 21

The aardwolf is tolerant of the noxious secretions of the soldier termites it feeds on.

Aardwolf FaunaFact 22

Aardwolves scent-mark their territories, a behavior sometimes called “pasting”.

Aardwolf FaunaFact 23

A single aardwolf can consume as many as 300,000 termites in a single night and up to 105,000,000 within a year.

Aardwolf FaunaFact 24

The aardwolf is socially monogamous.

Aardwolf FaunaFact 25

The aardwolf is primarily nocturnal as its activity is determined by the activity of the termites it eats.

Aardwolf FaunaFact 26

Aardwolf cubs are raised in dens, often old aardvark, porcupine, or springhare burrows.

Aardwolf FaunaFact 27

Aardwolves are solitary foragers, except when accompanying their young cubs.

Aardwolf FaunaFact 28

The aardwolf has a black mane extending from head to tail which it erects when threatened to appear larger.

Aardwolf FaunaFact 29

Aardwolves cannot be caught with food-baited traps, but may be lured with scent-marks of other aardwolves.

Aardwolf FaunaFact 30

The aardwolf is one of only 18 species that feed exclusively on termites.

Aardwolf FaunaFact 31

The mandibular salivary glands of the aardwolf are twice the size of the glands of a similar-sized dog.

Aardwolf FaunaFact 32

Aardwolves cannot kill livestock, yet many are killed by fearful farmers each year.

Aardwolf FaunaFact 33

The aardwolf’s favorite food is insects, especially termites, which it helps to control.

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