The aardwolf (Proteles cristata) is a small, 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") or 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.
|An aardwolf in Namib-Nord, Namibia|
I. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1824
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. 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.[nb 3]
The aardwolf is the only surviving species in the subfamily Protelinae. There is disagreement as to whether the species is monotypic. or can be divided into subspecies P. c. cristatus of Southern Africa and P. c. septentrionalis of East Africa.
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. The specific name, cristatus, comes from Latin and means "provided with a comb", relating to their mane.
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. The mane is raised during confrontations to make the aardwolf appear larger. It is missing the throat spot that others in the family have. Its lower leg (from the knee down) is all black, and its tail is bushy with a black tip. 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, and stands about 40 to 50 cm (16 to 20 in) tall at the shoulders. An adult aardwolf weighs approximately 7–10 kg (15–22 lb), sometimes reaching 15 kg (33 lb). 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)). The front feet have five toes each, unlike the four-toed hyena. The teeth and skull are similar to those of other hyenas, though smaller, and its cheek teeth are specialised for eating insects. It does still have canines, but, unlike other hyenas, these teeth are used primarily for fighting and defense. Its ears, which are large, are very similar to those of the striped hyena.
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.
Aardwolves live in open, dry plains and bushland, avoiding mountainous areas. 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.
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).
Aardwolves are shy and nocturnal, sleeping in underground burrows by day. 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.
They have often been mistaken for solitary animals. In fact, they live as monogamous pairs with their young. If their territory is infringed upon, they will chase the intruder up to 400 m (1,300 ft) or to the border. If the intruder is caught, which rarely happens, a fight will occur, which is accompanied by soft clucking, hoarse barking, and a type of roar. The majority of incursions occur during mating season, when they can occur once or twice per week. When food is scarce, the stringent territorial system may be abandoned and as many as three pairs may occupy a "single territory".
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. Aardwolves also have scent glands on the forefoot and penile pad. 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, and upwards of 200 per night.
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, or on occasion they are crevices in rocks. They will also dig their own dens, or enlarge dens started by springhares. 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.
The aardwolf feeds primarily on termites and more specifically on Trinervitermes. This genus of termites has different species throughout the aardwolf's range. In East Africa, they eat Trinervitermes bettonianus, and in central Africa, they eat Trinervitermes rhodesiensis, and finally in southern Africa, they eat T. trinervoides. Their technique consists of licking them off the ground as opposed to the aardvark, which digs into the mound. They locate their food by sound and also from the scent secreted by the soldier termites. An aardwolf may consume up to 250,000 termites per night using its sticky, long tongue. 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. 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 active in the afternoon, which explains some of their diurnal behavior in the winter. The eastern aardwolf, during the rainy season, subsists on termites from the genera Odontotermes and Macrotermes. 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. Unlike other hyenas, aardwolves do not scavenge or kill larger animals. 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. Also, contrary to some sources, they do not like meat, unless it is finely ground or cooked for them. The adult aardwolf was formerly assumed to forage in small groups, but more recent research has shown that they are primarily solitary foragers, 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). 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.
The breeding season varies depending on location, but normally takes place during autumn or spring. In South Africa, breeding occurs in early July. 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, which can result in conflict between rival males. 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. 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. Copulation lasts between 1 and 4.5 hours. Gestation lasts between 89 and 92 days, producing two to five cubs (most often two or three) during the rainy season (November–December), when termites are more active. They are born with their eyes open, but initially are helpless, and weigh around 200–350 g (7.1–12.3 oz). The first six to eight weeks are spent in the den with their parents. The male may spend up to six hours a night watching over the cubs while the mother is out looking for food. 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. By the time the next set of cubs is born, the older cubs have moved on. Aardwolves generally achieve sexual maturity at one and a half to two years of age.
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 the food is good. Because of these factors, the IUCN has rated the aardwolf as least concern. In some areas, they are persecuted by man 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. In other areas, the farmers have recognized this, but they are still killed, on occasion, for their fur. Dogs and insecticides are also common killers of the aardwolf.
The Aardwolf is a mammal in the hyena family. The term can also refer to:
Aardwolf (CIA report), a report about a country's status discussed in State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration
Aardwolf Publishing, a publishing company founded by Clifford MethChasmaporthetes
Chasmaporthetes, also known as hunting or running hyena, is an extinct genus of hyenas distributed in Eurasia, North America, and Africa during the Pliocene-Pleistocene epochs, living from 4.9 million to 780,000 years ago, existing for about 4.12 million years. The genus probably arose from Eurasian Miocene hyenas such as Thalassictis or Lycyaena, with C. borissiaki being the oldest known representative. The species C. ossifragus was the only hyena to cross the Bering land bridge into the Americas, and ranged over what is now Arizona and Mexico during Blancan and early Irvingtonian Land Mammal ages, between 5.0 and 1.5 million years ago.Chasmaporthetes was one of the so-called "dog-like" hyenas (of which the aardwolf is the only survivor), a hyaenid group which, in contrast to the now more common "bone-crushing" hyenas, evolved into slender-limbed, cursorial hunters like modern canids.The genus has entered the popular culture lexicon as a result of cryptozoologic claims, having been proposed as the likely origin of the American Shunka Warakin and the Cuitlamiztli.Clifford Meth
Clifford Lawrence Meth (born February 22, 1961) is an American writer, editor, and publisher best known for his dark fiction, as well as his publishing imprint Aardwolf Publishing. He has said that his work is often "self-consciously Jewish."Comics Bulletin
Comics Bulletin is a daily website covering the American comic-book industry.Dave Cockrum
David Emmett Cockrum (; November 11, 1943 – November 26, 2006) was an American comics artist known for his co-creation of the new X-Men characters Nightcrawler, Storm, and Colossus. Cockrum was a prolific and inventive costume designer who updated the uniforms of the Legion of Super-Heroes. He did the same for the new X-Men and many of their antagonists in the 1970s and early 1980s.Feliformia
Feliformia (also Feloidea) is a suborder within the order Carnivora consisting of "cat-like" carnivorans, including cats (large and small), hyenas, mongooses, civets, and related taxa. Feliformia stands in contrast to the other suborder of Carnivora, Caniformia ("dog-like" carnivorans).
The separation of the Carnivora into the broad groups of feliforms and caniforms is widely accepted, as is the definition of Feliformia and Caniformia as suborders (sometimes superfamilies). The classification of feliforms as part of the Feliformia suborder or under separate groupings continues to evolve.
Systematic classifications dealing with only extant taxa include all feliforms into the Feliformia suborder, though variations exist in the definition and grouping of families and genera. Indeed, molecular phylogenies suggest that all extant Feliformia are monophyletic.The extant families as reflected in the taxa chart at right and the discussions in this article reflect the most contemporary and well-supported views (as at the time of writing this article).
Systematic classifications dealing with both extant and extinct taxa vary more widely. Some separate the feliforms (extant and extinct) as: Aeluroidea (superfamily) and Feliformia (suborder). Others include all feliforms (extant, extinct and "possible ancestors") into the Feliformia suborder. Some studies suggest this inclusion of "possible ancestors" into Feliformia (or even Carnivora) may be spurious. The extinct (†) families as reflected in the taxa chart are the least problematic in terms of their relationship with extant feliforms (with the most problematic being Nimravidae).Futurians (comics)
The Futurians was a fictional superhero team appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The team was created by Dave Cockrum, and first appeared in 1983 in the ninth of the Marvel Graphic Novels series, then in a three-issue run published by Lodestone Comics.
In 2003, author Clifford Meth revamped the comic as a yet-to-be produced screenplay for IDT Entertainment.
A four-issue mini-series written and drawn by David Miller, with colors by Joe Rubenstein, focused on the character of Avatar and showed some of his history as he returned home to London and fought Morgan Le Fay. It was published in 2010 by David Miller Studios.Hodotermitidae
The harvester termites (from Greek ὁδός (hodós), travelling; Latin termes, woodworm) are an ancient, Old World family of termites, the Hodotermitidae. They are distinguished by the serrated inner edge of their mandibles, and their functional compound eyes which are present in all castes. They forage for grass at night and during daylight hours, and pigmented workers are often observed outside the nest. Their range includes the deserts and savannas of Africa, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia. Their English name refers to their habit of collecting grass, which is not unique to the family, though.Hyaena
Hyaena is a genus comprising two of the living species of hyenas: the striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena) from western Asia and northern Africa and the brown hyena (Hyaena brunnea) from southern Africa. The brown hyena has sometimes been placed in a separate genus Parahyaena, or even included in the otherwise fossil genus Pachycrocuta, but recent sources have tended to place it in Hyaena.
The brown hyena's skull is larger than that of the striped hyena. The male brown hyena is slightly larger than the female, while the sexes of the striped hyena are equally sized. Both species are smaller than the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta), but larger than the aardwolf (Proteles cristata). They are predominantly scavengers.Hyena
Hyenas or hyaenas (from Greek ὕαινα hýaina) are any feliform carnivoran mammals of the family Hyaenidae . With only four extant species (in three genera), it is the fifth-smallest biological family in the Carnivora, and one of the smallest in the class Mammalia. Despite their low diversity, hyenas are unique and vital components of most African ecosystems.Although phylogenetically they are closer to felines and viverrids, and belong to the feliform category, hyenas are behaviourally and morphologically similar to canines in several elements of convergent evolution; both hyenas and canines are non-arboreal, cursorial hunters that catch prey with their teeth rather than claws. Both eat food quickly and may store it, and their calloused feet with large, blunt, nonretractable claws are adapted for running and making sharp turns. However, the hyenas' grooming, scent marking, defecating habits, mating and parental behaviour are consistent with the behaviour of other feliforms.Spotted hyenas may kill as many as 95% of the animals they eat, while striped hyenas are largely scavengers. Generally, hyenas are known to drive off larger predators, like lions, from their kills, despite having a reputation in popular culture for being cowardly. Hyenas are primarily nocturnal animals, but sometimes venture from their lairs in the early-morning hours. With the exception of the highly social spotted hyena, hyenas are generally not gregarious animals, though they may live in family groups and congregate at kills.Hyenas first arose in Eurasia during the Miocene period from viverrid-like ancestors, and diversified into two distinct types: lightly built dog-like hyenas and robust bone-crushing hyenas. Although the dog-like hyenas thrived 15 million years ago (with one taxon having colonised North America), they became extinct after a change in climate along with the arrival of canids into Eurasia. Of the dog-like hyena lineage, only the insectivorous aardwolf survived, while the bone-crushing hyenas (including the extant spotted, brown and striped hyenas) became the undisputed top scavengers of Eurasia and Africa.Hyenas feature prominently in the folklore and mythology of human cultures that live alongside them. Hyenas are commonly viewed as frightening and worthy of contempt. In some cultures, hyenas are thought to influence people’s spirits, rob graves, and steal livestock and children. Other cultures associate them with witchcraft, using their body parts in traditional African medicine.Insectivore
An insectivore is a carnivorous plant or animal that eats insects. An alternative term is entomophage, which also refers to the human practice of eating insects.
The first insectivorous vertebrates were amphibians. When they evolved 400 million years ago, the first amphibians were piscivores, with numerous sharp conical teeth, much like a modern crocodile. The same tooth arrangement is however also suited for eating animals with exoskeletons, thus the ability to eat insects is an extension of piscivory.At one time, insectivorous mammals were scientifically classified in an order called Insectivora. This order is now abandoned, as not all insectivorous mammals are closely related. Most of the Insectivora taxa have been reclassified; those that have not yet been reclassified remain in the order Eulipotyphla.
Although individually small, insects exist in enormous numbers - they number over a million described species and some of those species occur in enormous numbers. Accordingly, insects make up a very large part of the animal biomass in almost all non-marine, non-polar environments. It has been estimated that the global insect biomass is in the region of 1012 kg with an estimated population of 1018 organisms. Many creatures depend on insects as their primary diet, and many that do not (and are thus not technically insectivores) nevertheless use insects as a protein supplement, particularly when they are breeding.List of fictional werewolves
This is a List of fictional werewolves who appear in works of literature, television, comics, films and legends.List of microbreweries
This is a list of notable microbreweries. A microbrewery is a brewery which produces a limited amount of beer. The qualifications to be classified as a microbrewery vary by country. The term "microbrewery" originated in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s to describe the new generation of small breweries which focused on producing traditional cask ale. The first example of this approach was Selby Brewery founded by Martin Sykes in 1972 in the Yorkshire town of the same name. Although originally "microbrewery" was used in relation to the size of breweries, it gradually came to reflect an alternative attitude and approach to brewing flexibility, adaptability, experimentation, and customer service. The term and trend spread to the United States in the 1980s, where it eventually was used as a designation of breweries that produce fewer than 15,000 U.S. beer barrels (1,800,000 liters) (475,000 U.S. gallons) annually.Lycyaena
Lycyaena is an extinct genus of terrestrial carnivore the family Hyaenidae.
Lycyaena was a cursorial hunting hyaena as opposed to full-time scavenger. It has been suggested by R. F. Ewer, The Carnivores(1973) that Lycyaena may be a possible ancestor to today's Aardwolf (Proteles cristatus).Septimus Orion
Septimus Orion is a recording project initiated with the release of its first studio album CAGED in August 2008. The album includes an audio version of Clifford Meth's short story Queers. This short story was originally published in god's 15 minutes by Aardwolf Publishing. Celtic Frost drummer Reed St. Mark lends his percussive talents while also working on the Triptykon project with former Celtic Frost band mate Tom Gabriel Fischer. Veteran songwriter and musician Mark Radice joined the cast of Septimus Orion while continuing to compose and record for Public Television. For this work, Radice was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2008. Former front man and vocalist for Lodi hardcore punk band Rosemary's Babies, known as JR, joined Septimus Orion with a rerecorded version of his song Sanctioned Violence.
The album CAGED features cover art by the late "X-Men" comic artist Dave Cockrum. Album also includes Space-themed music, using sounds from space recorded by NASA and The University of Iowa.The Good Rats
The Good Rats are an American rock band from Long Island, New York. Their music mixes elements of rock with blues and pop. They are best-known on their native Long Island, although they had some success nationally and internationally.Welgevonden Game Reserve
Welgevonden Game Reserve, (Dutch for well found), is in the Waterberg District, of the Limpopo, province of South Africa. Welgevonden Game Reserve, (Dutch for "well found"), is a 38,200ha game reserve in the Waterberg District, of the Limpopo Province of South Africa.
It forms part of the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve which was officially declared by UNESCO in 2001 and currently covers an area in excess of 654,033 hectare.
The reserve comprises mountainous terrain that is dissected by deep valleys and kloofs while flat plateaus characterise most hilltops. Altitude varies from 1080 m in the north to ±1800 m in the southern section of the reserve.
Welgevonden is home to over 50 different mammals, including the Big Five.
The diversity of habitat leads to a wide range of wildlife with grassy plains abounding with antelope from the largest eland to the diminutive duiker; and cheetah, lion and leopard are regularly seen close by. There are also numerous rare and unusual species such as brown hyena, aardwolf, pangolin and aardvark – all best seen at night. Over 300 bird species can be seen on the reserve, including rare blue cranes which breed in the southern section early in the year.William Messner-Loebs
William Francis Messner-Loebs (; born William Francis Loebs, Jr., February 19, 1949) is an American comics artist and writer from Michigan, also known as Bill Loebs and Bill Messner-Loebs. His hyphenated surname is a combination of his and his wife Nadine's unmarried surnames.
In the 1980s and 1990s he wrote runs of series published by DC Comics, Image Comics, Comico, and other comics publishers, including DC's superhero series Flash and Wonder Woman among others. Additionally he has both written and drawn original creator-owned works, such as Journey: The Adventures of Wolverine MacAlistaire.
Extant Carnivora species