aardwolf, noun

Forms:
Also aarde-wolf, and with initial capital.
Origin:
South African Dutch, Dutch, AfrikaansShow more South African Dutch, from Dutch aarde earth + wolf wolf. (The modern Afrikaans form is erdwolf.)
The hyaena-like mammal Proteles cristatus of the Protelidae, which feeds mainly on insects; maanhaar jackal, see maanhaar. Cf. wolf noun1.
1833 Penny Cyclopaedia I. 4The genus proteles contains but a single species, the Aard-wolf, or earth-wolf (Proteles cristata), so called by the European colonists in the neighbourhood of Algoa Bay, in South Africa...The size of the aard-wolf is about that of a full-grown fox.
1835 A. Steedman Wanderings II. 114In its habits and manners the Aard-wolf resembles the fox: like that animal it is nocturnal, and constructs a subterraneous burrow, at the bottom of which it lies concealed during the daytime.
1881 P. Gillmore Land of Boer 205There is a very pretty little hyaena to be found up in these localities, called by the natives ‘aard-wolf.’..It is about the size of a jackal, possesses a bright fawn-coloured coat, handsomely marked with black lines.
1900 W.L. Sclater Mammals of S. Afr. I. 82The aard wolf..is a slow animal and can be run down by an active man, and is easily outpaced by dogs.
1913 C. Pettman Africanderisms 20Aardwolf,..An animal about the size of a fox, occupying an intermediate position between the jackals and the hyenas.
c1936 S. & E. Afr. Yr Bk & Guide 1072The Aard-wolf (proteles cristatus), often called ‘maanhaar jackal’, stands about 18 inches in height and is of a brown colour with a few dark markings.
1973 Farmer’s Weekly 9 May 10In this territory, there is a long list of protected game..Aardwolf, bat-eared fox, dikdik.
1980 J. Hanks Mammals 52Aardwolf, Proteles cristatus. Dog-like carnivore with a sloping back...Mainly nocturnal, but may be seen at any time of the day.
1982 S. Afr. Panorama Jan. 39Also extremely rare is the aardwolf whose continued existence is dubious.
1988 Grocott’s Mail 29 Jan. 3The aardwolf is a particularly interesting carnivore, not only because it feeds almost exclusively on termites but also because, throughout its African distribution, it feeds primarily on termites of the genus Trinervitermes.
The hyaena-like mammal Proteles cristatus of the Protelidae, which feeds mainly on insects; maanhaar jackal, see maanhaar.

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