dcsimg

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

provided by AnAge articles
Maximum longevity: 20 years (captivity) Observations: One wild born female was about 20 years old when she died in captivity (Richard Weigl 2005).
license
cc-by-3.0
copyright
Joao Pedro de Magalhaes
editor
de Magalhaes, J. P.
partner site
AnAge articles

Reproduction

provided by Animal Diversity Web

Mating occurs during the last two weeks of June and the first two weeks of July. Scent "pasting" with anal gland secretions by both males and females is used to attract partners. Males are extremely territorial over both land and mates, in and out of mating season. They will not necessarily remain monogamous; aggressive males are known to copulate with neighboring females already with weaker mates, and litters may be fathered by more than one male.

Mating System: polygynous

Aardwolves copulate and produce offspring during summer. Females gestate for approximately 90 days after fertilization, giving birth to 2 to 5 cubs. These cubs remain solely underground in a den for the first month and continue to increase their foraging distance from the den every couple of months (with parental supervision). Weaning is usually completed by four months of age, yet complete independence may not be established until almost one year of age.

Breeding interval: Breeding occurs once yearly.

Breeding season: Breeding occurs from mid-June to mid-July.

Range number of offspring: 2 to 5.

Average gestation period: 90 days.

Range weaning age: 3 to 4 months.

Average time to independence: 1 years.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; viviparous

Males and females care for their young through the first, juvenile year. Aardwolf pups remain under parental supervision up to one year old, with solitary foraging beginning around 7 months old. While pups are still small, male aardwolves invest most of their energy in guarding the den, while females leave to forage.

Parental Investment: altricial ; male parental care ; female parental care ; pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Male, Female); pre-independence (Provisioning: Male, Female, Protecting: Male, Female)

license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Stump, M. 2011. "Proteles cristata" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Proteles_cristata.html
author
Meghan Stump, Radford University
editor
Karen Francl, Radford University
editor
Tanya Dewey, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
original
visit source
partner site
Animal Diversity Web

Untitled

provided by Animal Diversity Web

Despite numerous similarities to other hyaenid species, aardwolves were once classified in their own family, Protelidae.

license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Stump, M. 2011. "Proteles cristata" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Proteles_cristata.html
author
Meghan Stump, Radford University
editor
Karen Francl, Radford University
editor
Tanya Dewey, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
original
visit source
partner site
Animal Diversity Web

Behavior

provided by Animal Diversity Web

Aardwolves communicate primarily through anal gland scent marking. These smear marks are rubbed on foliage to establish territories and attract potential mates. Males tend to mark more often than females. Scent marks from a foreign P. cristata may cause a male or female to relocate dens, but marks from a mate are continuously over-marked until the scent is covered. Vocal communication is rare, only being used when startled, fighting, or stressed. These distress calls range from clucking to roaring. Keen sight and sound perception are used when searching for termites at night.

Abundant scent marking by both genders is used to communicate. Within a home range, aardwolves bury their feces in common middens that are marked by anal gland secretions. If intruders are discovered on any marked territory, they show aggressive behavior and warn by erecting a tall mane of hair down the backside that makes them seem much larger than they are. Pups begin to exhibit fluffing of the tail while learning to play with siblings. This defensive stance may initially be used between two familiar aardwolves in the same territory, but will be suppressed upon successful recognition. Though molars and canine teeth are reduced, powerful jaws and claws have been retained for combat. If startled, a foul secretion from the anal glands may be released.

Communication Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

Other Communication Modes: scent marks

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Stump, M. 2011. "Proteles cristata" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Proteles_cristata.html
author
Meghan Stump, Radford University
editor
Karen Francl, Radford University
editor
Tanya Dewey, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
original
visit source
partner site
Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

provided by Animal Diversity Web

Aardwolf populations remain stable across the majority of their African habitat and are not considered threatened. However, sightings are rare due to their timid and nocturnal behavior; aardwolf densities usually do not exceed 1 adult per square km.

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

State of Michigan List: no special status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Stump, M. 2011. "Proteles cristata" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Proteles_cristata.html
author
Meghan Stump, Radford University
editor
Karen Francl, Radford University
editor
Tanya Dewey, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
original
visit source
partner site
Animal Diversity Web

Benefits

provided by Animal Diversity Web

There are no known adverse effects of P. cristata on humans.

license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Stump, M. 2011. "Proteles cristata" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Proteles_cristata.html
author
Meghan Stump, Radford University
editor
Karen Francl, Radford University
editor
Tanya Dewey, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
original
visit source
partner site
Animal Diversity Web

Benefits

provided by Animal Diversity Web

Aardwolves play a key role in pest control, consuming up to 105,000,000 termites per individual a year. The grasslands where these termites feed are the main food source for domestic livestock, and aardwolves may prevent significant crop damage for African farmers.

Positive Impacts: controls pest population

license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Stump, M. 2011. "Proteles cristata" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Proteles_cristata.html
author
Meghan Stump, Radford University
editor
Karen Francl, Radford University
editor
Tanya Dewey, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
original
visit source
partner site
Animal Diversity Web

Associations

provided by Animal Diversity Web

Aardwolves significantly limit termite populations throughout their range, preventing extensive wood damage for both humans and natural habitats. Aardwolf density and foraging techniques have noninvasive impacts on the ecosystem. Aardwolves and brown hyenas (Hyaena brunnea) are the only known hosts of two subspecies of mallophagous louse, Felicola intermedius intermedius and F. i. hyaenae. Aardwolves may also carry the parasite Haemaphysalis zumpti, a tick that favors small burrowing mammals.

Commensal/Parasitic Species:

  • Felicola intermedius intermedius
  • Felicola intermedius hyaenae
  • Haemaphysalis zumpti
license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Stump, M. 2011. "Proteles cristata" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Proteles_cristata.html
author
Meghan Stump, Radford University
editor
Karen Francl, Radford University
editor
Tanya Dewey, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
original
visit source
partner site
Animal Diversity Web

Trophic Strategy

provided by Animal Diversity Web

The diet of aardwolves consists solely of termites belonging to the groups Trinervitermes and Hodotermes. Consumption of these termites depends on their abundance and seasons; Trinervitermes species remain active only during warmer months and Hodotermes species remain active into cooler months. Harvester termites from the Trinervitermes group release a terpene toxin that deters many of their predators, however, aardwolves shows no aversion to this secretion. Aardwolves consume their prey by licking termites off surfaces using a flat, sticky tongue. With this method, they may consume up to 300,000 termites every night. Very little water is required, as termites usually supplement needed fluid intake.

Animal Foods: insects

Primary Diet: carnivore (Insectivore )

license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Stump, M. 2011. "Proteles cristata" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Proteles_cristata.html
author
Meghan Stump, Radford University
editor
Karen Francl, Radford University
editor
Tanya Dewey, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
original
visit source
partner site
Animal Diversity Web

Distribution

provided by Animal Diversity Web

Aardwolves (Proteles cristata, Sparrman 1783) are found in two, disjunct populations in Africa. Aardwolves are found in southern Zambia, Angola, and Mozambique, as well as northeastern Uganda and Somalia. The northeastern population, the subspecies Proteles cristata septentrionalis, also extends into central Tanzania, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt. Southern populations are considered the subspecies Proteles cristata cristata.

Biogeographic Regions: ethiopian (Native )

license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Stump, M. 2011. "Proteles cristata" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Proteles_cristata.html
author
Meghan Stump, Radford University
editor
Karen Francl, Radford University
editor
Tanya Dewey, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
original
visit source
partner site
Animal Diversity Web

Habitat

provided by Animal Diversity Web

Aardwolves inhabit dry, open savannas and grasslands, where annual rainfall averages below 80 cm. They avoid deserts or heavily wooded areas. Northeastern and southern populations are separated entirely by wet woodlands. Aardwolves are shy, solitary foragers who require up to 4 square kilometers of territory for optimal survival. This area is typically only shared with a mating partner and/or young from the current or previous year. During daylight hours, times of whelping, and extreme environmental conditions, aardwolves retreat to subterranean dens, usually previously dug by aardvarks or springhare species.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; tropical ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: savanna or grassland

license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Stump, M. 2011. "Proteles cristata" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Proteles_cristata.html
author
Meghan Stump, Radford University
editor
Karen Francl, Radford University
editor
Tanya Dewey, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
original
visit source
partner site
Animal Diversity Web

Life Expectancy

provided by Animal Diversity Web

No data on the average lifespan of aardwolves in the wild has been recorded. However, closely related spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) and many other species in the Family Hyaenidae may exceed 18 years in the wild. The maximum lifespan documented for aardwolves was a 20 year-old captive female.

Range lifespan
Status: captivity:
20 (high) years.

license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Stump, M. 2011. "Proteles cristata" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Proteles_cristata.html
author
Meghan Stump, Radford University
editor
Karen Francl, Radford University
editor
Tanya Dewey, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
original
visit source
partner site
Animal Diversity Web

Morphology

provided by Animal Diversity Web

Aardwolves have dark stripes on buff-yellow or dark brown fur, as well as a thick mane running from the back of the head to the tail. Intermittent spots or stripes on a pale gray-white neck may be seen. Feet are usually dark solid black with irregular horizontal stripes on the legs. Total length ranges from 850 to 1050 mm and the tail alone makes up 200 to 300 mm of this total length. Weight ranges from 8 to 14 kg. Males and females exhibit no sexual dimorphism in color or size. All aardwolves have large, pointed ears, slender skulls, and reduced molars due to a diet exclusively of termites. Like all members of Hyaenidae, they have forelegs longer than hind legs, creating a sloped stature.

Aardwolves bear a striking resemblance to striped hyenas (Hyaena hyaena), which are sympatric in the northeastern portion of their range. Both have similar fur texture and color, though aardwolves tend to have more regular stripes and are only a quarter the body mass of striped hyenas. Questions have been raised about this similarity as a rare form of Batesian mimicry among mammals, but no conclusive evidence is recognized.

Range mass: 8 to 14 kg.

Range length: 850 to 1050 mm.

Range basal metabolic rate: 59 to 70 cm3.O2/g/hr.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry

Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike

license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Stump, M. 2011. "Proteles cristata" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Proteles_cristata.html
author
Meghan Stump, Radford University
editor
Karen Francl, Radford University
editor
Tanya Dewey, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
original
visit source
partner site
Animal Diversity Web

Associations

provided by Animal Diversity Web

Adult aardwolves have no significant predators. Pups are vulnerable to black-backed jackals (Canis mesomelas) unless well-protected by males in dens. Humans (Homo sapiens) may affect populations; African farmers mistake these passive hyaenids as threats to livestock and kill aardwolves discovered on their land. Motor vehicle collisions contribute to mortality as well, although aardwolves usually avoid roadways. Domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) trained to hunt foxes and jackals will also mistakenly attack aardwolves in the wild.

Known Predators:

  • humans (Homo sapiens)
  • black-backed jackals (Canis mesomelas)
  • domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris)

Anti-predator Adaptations: cryptic

license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Stump, M. 2011. "Proteles cristata" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Proteles_cristata.html
author
Meghan Stump, Radford University
editor
Karen Francl, Radford University
editor
Tanya Dewey, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
original
visit source
partner site
Animal Diversity Web

Brief Summary

provided by EOL authors

Out of the 4060 living mammal species, the aardwolf (Proteles cristatus) is one of 18 species that feed exclusively on termites (Anderson, 2004). However, the aardwolf is specifically adapted to this diet, sporting a large and hairless muzzle (an adaptation that prevents adhesion of the chemical secretions of the soldier termites), a broad tongue and large jaw muscles (their teeth are not suited for hunting larger prey). Unlike other termite-feeding mammals, the aardwolf does not dig for its prey (lacking the well-developed claws and powerful limbs needed for digging), but laps the termites from the open ground (Anderson and Richardson, 2005). Additionally, the nocturnal nature of the aardwolf (hiding in dens during the warm part of the day) is synchronised with the foraging behaviour of the termites Trinervitermes and Hodotermes, the primary diet of the aardwolf (Anderson et al., 1997; Matsebula et al., 2009).

The aardwolf is the smallest of the four members of the Hyaenidae family, weighing in at a mere 8-12 kg (Anderson and Richardson, 2005). It has large pointed ears and an erectile mane running from behind the head to the tip of the tail, and like the hyena, it also has a slightly sloped back as a result of having larger front than back legs (Sliwa, 1996). The aardwolf has characteristic black stripes running across its otherwise cream coloured body.

Reproduction occurs once a year, with roughly 2-5 cubs born to a female after a 90 day gestation period. The cubs remain hidden in the den for a month, after which they start to explore the area around their maternal den. With the arrival of the next litter one year later, the previous litter is forced to seek independence away from their den of birth (Sliwa, 1996).

Its distribution is split into a southern population (P. c. cristatus), limited to the semi-arid areas of southern Africa, and a northern population (P. c. septentrionalis) that extends from northern Tanzania to Somalia (Sliwa, 1996).

Currently, the aardwolf is on the “least concern” list of the IUCN (IUCN Red List of Threatened Species), due to its large distribution range, high numbers of individuals and no major threats to its continued existence.

license
cc-by-3.0
copyright
MammalMAP
author
(MammalMAP)
original
visit source
partner site
EOL authors

Aardwolf videos, photos and facts - Proteles cristata | ARKive

provided by EOL authors

Aardwolf facts, photos, and videos from ARKive

license
cc-publicdomain
original
visit source
partner site
EOL authors

Hyaena Specialist Group - Aardwolf (Proteles cristata)

provided by EOL authors

Aardwolf page @ IUCN Hyaena Specialist Group

license
cc-publicdomain
original
visit source
partner site
EOL authors

Aardwolf

provided by wikipedia EN

The aardwolf (Proteles cristata) is an insectivorous mammal, native to East and Southern Africa. Its name means "earth-wolf" in Afrikaans and Dutch.[2][3] It is also called "maanhaar-jackal"[4][5] (Afrikaans for "mane-jackal"), "Nxi" by the Nama people, "ant hyena", "termite-eating hyena"[6] and "civet hyena", based on its habit of secreting substances from its anal gland, a characteristic shared with the African civet.[7] The aardwolf is in the same family as the hyena. Unlike many of its relatives in the order Carnivora, the aardwolf does not hunt large animals. It eats insects and their larvae,[8] mainly termites; one aardwolf can lap up as many as 250,000 termites during a single night using its long, sticky tongue.[9]

The aardwolf lives in the shrublands of eastern and southern Africa – open lands covered with stunted trees and shrubs. It is nocturnal, resting in burrows during the day and emerging at night to seek food.

Taxonomy

The aardwolf is generally classified with the hyena family Hyaenidae, though it was formerly placed in its own family Protelidae.[nb 2] Early on, scientists felt that it was merely mimicking the striped hyena, which subsequently led to the creation of Protelidae.[11] Recent studies have suggested that the aardwolf probably broke away from the rest of the hyena family early on; how early is still unclear, as the fossil record and genetic studies disagree by 10 million years.[12][nb 3]

The aardwolf is the only surviving species in the subfamily Protelinae. There is disagreement as to whether the species is monotypic.[13] or can be divided into subspecies P. c. cristatus of Southern Africa and P. c. septentrionalis of East Africa.[7][14]

Etymology

The generic name proteles comes from two words both of Greek origin, protos and teleos which combined means "complete in front" based on the fact that they have five toes on their front feet and four on the rear.[7] The specific name, cristatus, comes from Latin and means "provided with a comb", relating to their mane.[7]

Physical characteristics

"
Detail of head – taken at the Cincinnati Zoo
"
Skeleton of an aardwolf displayed at Museum of Osteology.

The aardwolf resembles a very thin striped hyena, but with a more slender muzzle, black vertical stripes on a coat of yellowish fur, and a long, distinct mane down the midline of the neck and back. It also has one or two diagonal stripes down the fore- and hind-quarters, along with several stripes on its legs.[14] The mane is raised during confrontations to make the aardwolf appear larger. It is missing the throat spot that others in the family have.[7] Its lower leg (from the knee down) is all black, and its tail is bushy with a black tip.[10]

"
Aardwolf skull

The aardwolf is about 55 to 80 cm (22 to 31 in) long, excluding its bushy tail, which is about 20–30 cm (7.9–11.8 in) long,[2][10] and stands about 40 to 50 cm (16 to 20 in) tall at the shoulders.[15] An adult aardwolf weighs approximately 7–10 kg (15–22 lb), sometimes reaching 15 kg (33 lb).[7] The aardwolves in the south of the continent tend to be smaller (about 10 kg (22 lb))than the eastern version (around 14 kg (31 lb)).[14] The front feet have five toes each, unlike the four-toed hyena.[2][16] The teeth and skull are similar to those of other hyenas, though smaller,[15] and its cheek teeth are specialised for eating insects.[2] It does still have canines, but, unlike other hyenas, these teeth are used primarily for fighting and defense.[10] Its ears, which are large,[10] are very similar to those of the striped hyena.[7]

As an aardwolf ages, it will normally lose some of its teeth, though this has little impact on its feeding habits due to the softness of the insects that it eats.[8]

Distribution and habitat

Aardwolves live in open, dry plains and bushland, avoiding mountainous areas.[10] Due to their specific food requirements, they are only found in regions where termites of the family Hodotermitidae occur. Termites of this family depend on dead and withered grass and are most populous in heavily grazed grasslands and savannahs, including farmland. For most of the year, aardwolves spend time in shared territories consisting of up to a dozen dens, which are occupied for six weeks at a time.[8]

There are two distinct populations: one in Southern Africa, and another in East and Northeast Africa. The species does not occur in the intermediary miombo forests.

An adult pair, along with their most-recent offspring, occupies a territory of 1–4 km2 (0.39–1.54 sq mi).[17]

Behavior

"
Aardwolf at the San Antonio Zoo

Aardwolves are shy and nocturnal, sleeping in burrows by day.[2] They will, on occasion during the winter, become diurnal feeders. This happens during the coldest periods as they then stay in at night to conserve heat.[18]

They have often been mistaken for solitary animals. In fact, they live as monogamous pairs with their young.[19][20] If their territory is infringed upon, they will chase the intruder up to 400 m (1,300 ft) or to the border.[17] If the intruder is caught, which rarely happens,[17] a fight will occur, which is accompanied by soft clucking,[21] hoarse barking, and a type of roar.[22] The majority of incursions occur during mating season, when they can occur once or twice per week.[22] When food is scarce, the stringent territorial system may be abandoned and as many as three pairs may occupy a "single territory".[22]

The territory is marked by both sexes, as they both have developed anal glands from which they extrude a black substance that is smeared on rocks or grass stalks in 5-millimetre (0.20 in)-long streaks.[22] Aardwolves also have scent glands on the forefoot and penile pad.[23] They often mark near termite mounds within their territory every 20 minutes or so. If they are patrolling their territorial boundaries, the marking frequency increases drastically, to once every 50 m (160 ft). At this rate, an individual may mark 60 marks per hour,[22] and upwards of 200 per night.[17]

An aardwolf pair may have up to 10 dens, and numerous feces middens, within their territory. When they deposit excreta at their middens, they dig a small hole and cover it with sand. Their dens are usually abandoned aardvark, springhare, or porcupine dens,[21] or on occasion they are crevices in rocks. They will also dig their own dens, or enlarge dens started by springhares.[22] They typically will only use one or two dens at a time, rotating through all of their dens every six months. During the summer, they may rest outside their den during the night, and sleep underground during the heat of the day.

Aardwolves are not fast runners nor are they particularly adept at fighting off predators. Therefore, when threatened, the aardwolf may attempt to mislead its foe by doubling back on its tracks. If confronted, it may raise its mane in an attempt to appear more menacing. It also emits a foul-smelling liquid from its anal glands.[15]

Feeding

The aardwolf feeds primarily on termites and more specifically on Trinervitermes.[9] This genus of termites has different species throughout the aardwolf's range. In East Africa, they eat Trinervitermes bettonianus, in central Africa, they eat Trinervitermes rhodesiensis, and in southern Africa, they eat T. trinervoides.[2][9][22] Their technique consists of licking them off the ground as opposed to the aardvark, which digs into the mound.[18] They locate their food by sound and also from the scent secreted by the soldier termites.[22] An aardwolf may consume up to 250,000 termites per night using its long, sticky tongue.[9][8]

They do not destroy the termite mound or consume the entire colony, thus ensuring that the termites can rebuild and provide a continuous supply of food. They often memorize the location of such nests and return to them every few months.[21] During certain seasonal events, such as the onset of the rainy season and the cold of midwinter, the primary termites become scarce, so the need for other foods becomes pronounced. During these times, the southern aardwolf will seek out Hodotermes mossambicus, a type of harvester termite[22] active in the afternoon, which explains some of their diurnal behavior in the winter.[9] The eastern aardwolf, during the rainy season, subsists on termites from the genera Odontotermes and Macrotermes.[9] They are also known to feed on other insects, larvae, eggs, and, some sources say, occasionally small mammals and birds, but these constitute a very small percentage of their total diet.[22]

Unlike other hyenas, aardwolves do not scavenge or kill larger animals.[10][21] Contrary to popular myths, aardwolves do not eat carrion, and if they are seen eating while hunched over a dead carcass, they are actually eating larvae and beetles.[10] Also, contrary to some sources, they do not like meat, unless it is finely ground or cooked for them.[10] The adult aardwolf was formerly assumed to forage in small groups,[15] but more recent research has shown that they are primarily solitary foragers,[20] necessary because of the scarcity of their insect prey. Their primary source, Trinervitermes, forages in small but dense patches of 25–100 cm (9.8–39.4 in).[22] While foraging, the aardwolf can cover about 1 km (0.62 mi) per hour, which translates to 8–12 km (5.0–7.5 mi) per summer night and 3–8 km (1.9–5.0 mi) per winter night.[10]

Breeding

The breeding season varies depending on location, but normally takes place during autumn or spring. In South Africa, breeding occurs in early July.[17] During the breeding season, unpaired male aardwolves search their own territory, as well as others, for a female to mate with. Dominant males also mate opportunistically with the females of less dominant neighboring aardwolves,[17] which can result in conflict between rival males.[7] Dominant males even go a step further and as the breeding season approaches, they make increasingly greater and greater incursions onto weaker males' territories. As the female comes into oestrus, they add pasting to their tricks inside of the other territories, sometimes doing so more in rivals' territories than their own.[17] Females will also, when given the opportunity, mate with the dominant male, which increases the chances of the dominant male guarding "his" cubs with her.[17] Copulation lasts between 1 and 4.5 hours.[19][24]

Gestation lasts between 89 and 92 days,[7][17] producing two to five cubs (most often two or three) during the rainy season (November–December),[15] when termites are more active.[2] They are born with their eyes open, but initially are helpless,[22] and weigh around 200–350 g (7.1–12.3 oz).[7] The first six to eight weeks are spent in the den with their parents.[21] The male may spend up to six hours a night watching over the cubs while the mother is out looking for food.[17][22] After three months, they begin supervised foraging, and by four months are normally independent, though they often share a den with their mother until the next breeding season.[21] By the time the next set of cubs is born, the older cubs have moved on.[17] Aardwolves generally achieve sexual maturity at one and a half to two years of age.[7]

Conservation

The aardwolf has not seen decreasing numbers and they are relatively widespread throughout eastern Africa. They are not common throughout their range, as they maintain a density of no more than 1 per square kilometer, if food is abundant. Because of these factors, the IUCN has rated the aardwolf as least concern.[1] In some areas, they are persecuted because of the mistaken belief that they prey on livestock; however, they are actually beneficial to the farmers because they eat termites that are detrimental.[22] In other areas, the farmers have recognized this, but they are still killed, on occasion, for their fur. Dogs and insecticides[1] are also common killers of the aardwolf.[21]

Interaction with humans

Aardwolves are rare sights at zoos. Frankfurt Zoo in Germany was home to the oldest recorded aardwolf in captivity at 18 years and 11 months.[10]

"
Illustration of Proteles cristatus

Notes

  1. ^ Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of least concern [1]
  2. ^ Some sources such as Coetzee in Meester and Setzer (1977), Köhler and Ricardson (1990), and Yalden, Largen, and Koch (1980), classify the aardwolf in its own family still.[10]
  3. ^ The fossil record shows 18–20 mya, and genetic studies indicate roughly 10.6 mya.[12]

References

  1. ^ a b c Anderson & Mills 2008
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Hoiberg 2010, p. 4
  3. ^ "Aardwolf, n." Dictionary of South African English. Dictionary Unit for South African English, 2018. Web. 25 February 2019.
  4. ^ Oxford English Dictionary Online 2013
  5. ^ "Maanhaar, n." Dictionary of South African English. Dictionary Unit for South African English, 2018. Web. 25 February 2019.
  6. ^ Macintyre, Giles Ternan (1972). "The Trisulcate Petrosal Pattern of Mammals". In Dobzhansky, Theodosius; Hecht, Max K.; Steere, William C. (eds.). Evolutionary Biology. Evolutionary Biology: Volume 6. Springer US. pp. 275–303. doi:10.1007/978-1-4684-9063-3_9. ISBN 978-1-4684-9063-3.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Rieger 1990, pp. 570–571
  8. ^ a b c d Anon 1998, p. 144
  9. ^ a b c d e f Mills & Harvey 2001, p. 71
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Nowak 2005, pp. 222–223
  11. ^ Brottman 2012, pp. 28–29
  12. ^ a b Koepfli et al. 2006, p. 615
  13. ^ Wozencraft 2005, p. 573
  14. ^ a b c Mills & Harvey 2001, p. 33
  15. ^ a b c d e Goodwin 1997, p. 3
  16. ^ Brottman 2012, p. 29
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Mills & Harvey 2001, pp. 108–109
  18. ^ a b Brottman 2012, p. 30
  19. ^ a b Richardson, P. R. K. "Aardwolf mating system: overt cuckoldry in an apparently monogamous mammal." South African Journal of Science 83.7 (1987): 405.
  20. ^ a b Koehler & Richardson 1990, p. 4
  21. ^ a b c d e f g Brottman 2012, p. 31
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Richardson & Bearder 1984, pp. 158–159
  23. ^ Stoeckelhuber, Mechthild, Alexander Sliwa, and Ulrich Welsch. "Histo‐physiology of the scent‐marking glands of the penile pad, anal pouch, and the forefoot in the aardwolf (Proteles cristatus)." The anatomical record 259.3 (2000): 312-326.
  24. ^ Sliwa, Alexander. "A functional analysis of scent marking and mating behaviour in the aardwolf." Proteles cristatus (1996).
license
cc-by-sa-3.0
copyright
Wikipedia authors and editors
original
visit source
partner site
wikipedia EN

Aardwolf: Brief Summary

provided by wikipedia EN

The aardwolf (Proteles cristata) is an insectivorous mammal, native to East and Southern Africa. Its name means "earth-wolf" in Afrikaans and Dutch. It is also called "maanhaar-jackal" (Afrikaans for "mane-jackal"), "Nxi" by the Nama people, "ant hyena", "termite-eating hyena" and "civet hyena", based on its habit of secreting substances from its anal gland, a characteristic shared with the African civet. The aardwolf is in the same family as the hyena. Unlike many of its relatives in the order Carnivora, the aardwolf does not hunt large animals. It eats insects and their larvae, mainly termites; one aardwolf can lap up as many as 250,000 termites during a single night using its long, sticky tongue.

The aardwolf lives in the shrublands of eastern and southern Africa – open lands covered with stunted trees and shrubs. It is nocturnal, resting in burrows during the day and emerging at night to seek food.

license
cc-by-sa-3.0
copyright
Wikipedia authors and editors
original
visit source
partner site
wikipedia EN