One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A black-striped nocturnal African mammal that feeds mainly on termites.
Proteles cristatus, family Hyaenidae
- ‘The four extant hyena species (spotted hyena, striped hyena, brown hyena, and aardwolf) are the remnants of a large radiation.’
- ‘Aardvarks and aardwolves have this typical eutherian construction.’
- ‘The aardwolf is a undoubted termite specialist, lapping up exposed workers assembled along foraging trails.’
- ‘Even if pangolins are the sister group of carnivores, aardwolves are well nested within Carnivora in the family Hyaenidae.’
- ‘For example, carnivorous mammals' descendants that now shun meat include bamboo-eating pandas and termite-slurping aardwolves.’
Mid 19th century: from South African Dutch, from aarde ‘earth’ + wolf ‘wolf’.
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