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Aardwolf: The "weird cousin" of the hyena that eats 300,000 termites each night


Still Waters

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Unlike their meat-eating relatives, these solitary, nocturnal little hyenas survive on a diet almost entirely made up of termites. They can gobble up to 300,000 of the insects every night, using their sticky, super-long tongues to lap them up.

Aardwolves, which translates as "earth wolves" in Afrikaans, are the smallest of the four hyena species, measuring 22 to 31 inches (55 to 80 centimeters) long and up to 20 inches (50 cm) tall. Unlike spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) and striped hyenas (Hyaena hyaena), aardwolves don't live in packs and only come together to mate and rear young.

Scientists aren't sure how aardwolves first evolved. The species' complete departure from its living relatives and extinct ancestors means it's a "ghost lineage," according to a 2022 statement from Berkeley News. 

https://www.livescience.com/animals/land-mammals/aardwolf-the-weirdo-hyena-cousin-that-eats-300000-termites-each-night

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Posted (edited)

Wow..that is really amazing, a species of canine that subsists on termites.

Too bad that they cannot pinpoint its evolutionary ancestor because they are extinct but as a side not, aren't the evolutionary ancestors of many creatures, including modern humans, also extinct?

Anyway the photo of the Aardwolf pup is just so gosh darned adorable! Wish that site had a photo of an adult Aardwolf too..regardless it is amazing how a species can adapt to a changing environment.

On another site there is a full photo of the adult and they are gorgeous too!

Edited by Bendy Demon
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Posted (edited)

They sure can count fast. If I were to eat termites, I probably could not count much beyond thirty thousand - and I would be quite hoarse and tired.

Edited by Ell
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