Aardwolf, an African mammal related to the hyena. The name means “earth wolf” in Afrikaans and refers to the fact that it lives in underground burrows. The aardwolf has a foxlike head, slender legs, and sloping hindquarters. It is covered with coarse, yellowish-gray fur with black stripes across the back and black bands on the upper legs. The aardwolf weighs as much as 30 pounds (14 kg) and is 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 feet (75 to 105 cm) long, including an 8- to 12-inch (20- to 30-cm) tail. It forages at night for termites and other insects. When the aardwolf is alarmed, hairs on its back rise, creating a prominent crest. The aardwolf sprays enemies with an offensive-smelling oil from glandular ducts in its anus. It also uses this oil to mark its territory.
The aardwolf is Proteles cristatus of the hyena family, Hyaenidae.