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 Post subject: Aardwolf
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 10:17 pm 
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Rare find is safe

A maned jackal was found on a farm near Heilbron and has been released on Rietkuil, Mittal Steel's farm just outside Vanderbijlpark. According to mr Deon Kruger manager of the farm (photo), the maned jackal is often confused with a hyena and killed. "The maned jackal eats termites, small animals and insects. It is characterised by hairy fur with vertical stripes. Fully grown it only weighs about 8kg." Kruger also boasted that the farm houses several animal species of which 17 Blesbuck is the newest arrivals. Archers are welcome to hunt here", he said.

*Very rough translation, but should tell you what was said.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 7:39 pm 
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What a nice animal!
Interesting about them is that Aardwolf although sometimes called maned jackal (maanhaarjakkals) are not even related to jackal or hyeana, but fall into their own family namely that of Protolidea (the only animal in this family)


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 8:19 pm 
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An Aardwolf really looks like it could belong to the hyaena family as it lopes along just like a hyaena does so if one does not know any better, one could easily be mistaken. I had to refer to pics to make sure the one I saw at Mountain Zebra (am I repeating myself :shock: ) was an Aardwolf as I did for a minute think it was a brown hyaena :redface:

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2005 1:16 am 
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At the moment you are absolutely correct Dinkybird...

Currently there is one Genus within the subfamily Protelinae and one species withing that genus (Proteles), but there other animals in its family (Hyaenidae) including the spotted striped and brown hyenas.

Jackels are in the family Canidae which includes the wolves, dogs, coyotes, foxes and of course jackals. So no its not related to Jackels.

There was a veldfire of a debate on the aardwolfs classification around the beginning of the 90's. Due to their insectivourous diet and the fact that the Aardwolf has 5 toes on its forepaws (as apposed to the other hyaenids) it was proposed to place them in a Family of their own. Its a mixed bunch because the only thing scientists are better at than naming things, is arguing about it afterwards.

Its more widely accepted that Aardwolf are in Family Hyaenidae, which includes the sub families Hyaeninae hyenas) and Protelinae (aardwolf). CITES classification from 23 June 2005 lists it in the Hyaenidae family and they are usually quite up to date with the current classification tweaks of each species. Classification comes in many guises and each has its shortfalls. At the moment it is in the family hyanidae...

Morphologic classification gets problematic with polymorphic species such as Papilio dardanus the mocker swallowtail butterfly where the female displays over 27 morphs, worst still is the sterile casts of colonial animals, such as the difference in pincer size worker ants to the soldier types...So how much difference would we use

Even molecular dna classification has problems as some bird species (larks in particular) show a genetic difference of up to 20% WITHIN a single species, and chimps and humans only differ by 1 or 2 percent...So again, how much difference

While looking at physical attributes to hyaenidae we see some reasons for and against inclusion:

- elongated rostrum
- powerful jaws/teeth with heavy crowns for bone-crushing
- well-developed carnassials
- digitigrade, no retractile claws
- coat spotted or striped
- head and shoulders larger than hindquarters, sloping back

The reduced 5th toe on the forelimbs is actually more akin to that of Viverridae which include civet, genet and meerkat...The presence of double chambered auditory bullae in such families shows recent taxonomic branching between the groups and while it has specialised somewhat for termite feeding its 5th toe harks back to a common ancestor which other hyaenids have subsequently lost.

There are problems like this all over (red panda for example) and the fact is no one classification scheme has been agreed upon so it gets revised pretty much daily...

The general concensus is use the classification which fits your needs at the time.

We dont even have a great widely accepted way of even defining species

We all know and love the definition of two organisms similar in morphology able to reproduce and produce fertile offspring (a mule is sterile) but this never works for botanists as many plants produce fertile hybrids. The prolem with exotic mallard ducks breeding with our lovely yellow billed ducks is another problem as they are different species and their hybrid offspring are certainly fertile etc. logistics of moving a southern african rhino to north african populations to see if itll produce viable offspring is also not possible so decisions have to be made drawing from many definitions which results in these messes :)

What IS a nice animal is our aardvark, which is the only member in its ORDER (Tubulidentata), FAMILY AND GENUS...unique indeed.

Sorry for going off on a tangent I just think it might be an interesting read for anyone bored at work...


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 1:16 pm 
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Aardwolf (Proteles cristatus)

Classification:
Order: Carnivora
Family: Hyaenidae
Genus: Proteles

Other names:
Afrikaans: Aardwolf
French: Protèle
German: Erdwolf
Dutch: Aardwolf
Portuguese: Lobo da terra, protelo

There are two subspecies:
Proteles cristatus cristatus (Southern Africa)
Proteles cristatus septentrionalis (East Africa)

The Aardwolf looks most like the Striped Hyena but smaller with a more pointed muzzle, sharper ears, vertical stripes, and a long mane down the middle line of the neck and back, it is 76 cm (30 in) long excluding it's 30 cm (12 in) tail, it stands about 50 cm at the shoulder, weighs around 9 kg. It has two glands at the rear that secrete a musky fluid for marking territory and communicating with other aardwolves.

The Aardwolf is nocturnal, sleeping in underground burrows by day. By night, an Aardwolf can consume up to 200,000 harvester termites. They are also known to feed on other insects, larvae, and eggs.

While primarily solitary, a mating pair will occupy the same territory with their young. Gestation lasts between 90 and 100 days. The first six to eight weeks are spent in the den with the mother. After three months, they begin supervised foraging and set off on their own shortly thereafter.


Last edited by gwendolen on Wed Apr 26, 2006 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 3:31 pm 
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Salva wrote:
Seriously, apart from Dinky Bird, how many of you have spotted aardwolf and in which park?

Taken in Mountain Zebra Nov 2005,
Image
Image
Image

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 2:31 pm 
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They like areas where they can find termites. So if you are in an area with termite mounds, look out for them.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 3:55 pm 
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Good grief bouf , I think thats the best picture of an aardwolv I have ever seen :D .

*note to self - book a longer trip at mountain zebra* .

They seem far more common on game farms , than in reserves .
The only place I saw 1 was on a game farm near ellisrus, 1 of my most amazing and cheerished sightings ever .


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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 5:11 pm 
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I have only had one sighting of an Aardwolf and that was on a night drive in a KZN reserve.
Unfortunately no pic but an incredible thrill to see it nonetheless. :D

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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 4:02 pm 
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These guys are rare and shy, and mostly nocturnal, but has anyone seen one in Kruger? :P

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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 10:31 am 
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Nope, I for one certainly have not seen one in the KNP! :cry:

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 12:49 pm 
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These photo's were taken by Lyen Huang in Kgalagadi NP on a sunset drive, and posted by Jannie in the Pictures telling a story! topic. I have copied them here.

Image Image
Image Image
Image Image

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 Post subject: Aardwolf
Unread postPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 10:47 pm 
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Quote:
Aardwolf
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Aardwolf (disambiguation).
Aardwolf


Aardwolf
Conservation status

Least concern [1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: Hyaenidae

Genus: Proteles

Species: P. cristatus


Binomial name
Proteles cristatus
Sparrman 1783


Aardwolf range
The Aardwolf (Proteles cristatus) is a small insectivorous hyena, native to Eastern and Southern Africa. The name means "earth wolf" in Afrikaans.[2] Unlike other hyenas, the aardwolf is a defenseless animal whose diet almost completely consists of termites and other insect larvae.[3] The natural enemies are deterred by the superficial resemblance to the more aggressive hyena species.[citation needed]

The aardwolf is the only surviving species of the subfamily Protelinae. Two geographically separate subspecies are recognized: Proteles cristatus cristatus of Southern Africa, and Proteles cristatus septentrionalis of Eastern and Northeastern Africa.[4][5]

Contents [hide]
1 Physical characteristics
2 Distribution and habitat
3 Behavior
4 Interaction with humans
5 References
6 External links


Physical characteristics
The aardwolf looks most like the Striped Hyena, but is significantly smaller and has a more pointed muzzle, sharper ears used for listening for harvester termites, black vertical stripes on a coat of yellowish fur, and a long mane down the middle line of the neck and back, which is raised during a confrontation to make the aardwolf's size appear bigger. It is 55–80 cm long, excluding its bushy 20–30 cm tail, stands about 40–50 cm at the shoulder, and weighs between 9 and 14 kg.[3] Its front feet have 5 toes.[4] Its teeth and skull are similar to that of the hyena, although the cheek teeth are specialized for eating insects, and its tongue for licking them up.[4] As the aardwolf ages, it will normally lose some of its teeth, though this has little impact on their feeding habits due to the soft nature of the insects they consume.[3] It has two glands at the rear that secrete a musky fluid for marking territory and communicating with other aardwolves.


[edit] Distribution and habitat
The aardwolf lives on open, dry plains and bushland, while avoiding mountainous areas. Due to its specific food requirements, the animal is 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 savannas, 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. [3]

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.


Behavior

Aardwolf from the zoo in San Antonio, TexasAardwolves are shy and nocturnal, sleeping in underground burrows by day.[4] They usually use existing burrows of aardvarks, Old World porcupines or springhares, despite being capable of creating their own. By night, an aardwolf can consume up to 200,000 harvester termites using its sticky, long tongue.[3] They take special care not to destroy the termite mound or consume the entire colony, which ensures that the termites can rebuild and provide a continuous supply of food. They will often memorise and return to nests to save the trouble of finding a new one. They are also known to feed on other insects, larvae, and eggs, and occasionally small mammals and birds. Unlike other hyenas, it does not scavenge or kill larger animals because of its weak jaw and small size.

The aardwolf is primarily solitary (especially with the males), but a mating pair will occupy the same territory with their young. Young aardwolves generally achieve sexual maturity after two years, and the breeding season varies depending on their location, but normally takes place during the autumn or spring. During the breeding season, male aardwolves will search their own territory as well as others' for a female to mate with. This can often result in conflict between two male aardwolves when one has wandered into another's territory. Gestation lasts between 90 and 110 days, producing 1 to 5 cubs (though it is normally between 2 and 3) during the rainy season when termites are active.[4] The first six to eight weeks are spent in the den with the mother. After three months, they begin supervised foraging and by four months are normally independent. However, they will often use the same den as their mother until the next breeding season. They can achieve a lifespan of up to 15 years when in captivity.


From wikipedia

Has anyone ever seen one.
If you have photos i would love to see them. I know they have two at joburg zoo.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun May 27, 2007 8:56 am 
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HEya,
They seem so innocent.. Is it those beady eyes? That Bushy tail? Their fluffy ears? Or just the fact that they seem totally lost when they in the presence of human beings?
They look like vulnerable creatures don't they?

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Unread postPosted: Sun May 27, 2007 9:57 am 
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Yes, indeed, Candie's Style, they do look vulnerable but reading thorugh Timbo's entry it is their similarity to the striped hyena that acts as a defence. Interesting :hmz:

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