bloodless but inspired (meuniere) wrote in wtf_nature,
bloodless but inspired

The Aardwolf.

A relative of the hyena that eats almost exclusively termites. Cute little things:

They're smaller than most hyenas (probably 'cause they eat much less) and they're coloured a lot like the striped hyena. Makes sense. Most animals would be like "oh, we'd eat that thing, but it looks like a hyena baby. We don't fuck with them!"

The aardwolf is unique in that it has 5 toes on it's paws-look at your dog's toes, or your cat's toes. They only have 4, and a little dinky dewclaw.

I unfortunately don't have any photographic proof of these 5-toed hyenas (hell, it's hard enough to get pictures of them!) but you'll have to trust me on that one. Why 5 toes? I have no idea-it may be due to primitive ancestry, or to help tear down termite mounds.

Another interesting fact about the little buggers is that they are missing their cheek teeth-no need for them when all you eat it is squishy bugs. :3 You can see the missing teeth here.

The teeth are also worn down very quickly-as noted in that skull above, the teeth are very flat/dull. From the front, the teeth are almost peg-like.

They also raise and poof up their manes and tails when upset-a common behaviour.

EDIT: that picture above was of the cubs, you guys XD This is what they look like when they're older:

though they're still damn adorable. :3
Tags: hyena, mammal, predator, repost, termite
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