Aardwolf

Aardwolf Average weight of both the male and female is between 8 – 12 kg(17,6 – 26,4lbs). Their shoulder height averages at about 50cm(20in). life expectancy of the aardwolf is estimated at 15 years.

Identification
The aardwolf has a yellowish brown coat with several vertical black stripes. Irregular horizontal stripes run across the legs and grade into solid black coloured feet. It has a mane that runs from the back of the head all the way to the tail and can be erected to enlarge the appearance of the individual when threatened. The pointed face is black and it has fairly large ears and a bushy tail.

Habits
Their habitat includes open grassy plains, savannah and rocky areas but will avoid forests and pure desert areas. Aardwolf live as monogamous pairs with their most recent young in abandoned burrows of porcupine, springhare and aardvark . They are nocturnal animals and will the spend most of the day in their burrows. They may have up to 10 dens within their territory rotating through their dens every 6 months. Their diet consists mainly out of termites that are vulnerable to direct sunlight and therefore they are more active during the night. These termites become less active during winter causing the aardwolf to start foraging for their food quite early in the afternoon. On average an aardwolf can consume up to 300 000 termites in one night. During severe winters they turn to other sources of food and supplement their diet with mice, lizards, small birds and eggs. Both sexes scent mark the territory although males more frequently mark the area. They scent mark the area by rubbing secretions from the anal glands onto grass stalks at approximately 50m intervals around the perimeter of their territory. They warn off predators and intruders by erecting their mane or by active chasing.

Breeding
A litter of 1-4 cubs is born after a gestation period of 90 days. The cubs spend the first 6-8 weeks in the den with the male guarding the young up to 6 hours during the night allowing the female to forage for food. The offspring get weaned after about 4 months and will start to forage under the supervision of their parents.

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