Earth wolf photo and description, appearance and lifestyle, reproduction and offspring

Earth Wolf (lat. Proteles cristatus) is a small mammal that lives on the territory of the African continent. Belongs to the hyeny family, subsidiad catshaped. I got its name at the expense of appearance, habits, food features.


Earth wolf cannot be called large from the point of view of predators, other species of hyenas, however, this is not a small animal. One of the features of these animals is their diet, which consists mainly of insects. Otherwise, there are a number of differences that need to be considered in more detail.


In appearance, earthen wolves are more like dogs than representatives of other types of hyenas. They have 4 fingers on the hind legs and 5 on the front.

The average characteristics of earthen wolves:

  • body length 80 cm;
  • height 45 cm (at the withers);
  • tail length 25 cm;
  • mass-10 kg (extremely rarely reaches 13-15).
  • The neck of these predators is longer than that of other hyenas, the limbs are thinner. By the structure of the skull, they look like a fox and dogs. The muzzle is long, large, pointed, triangular.

    The coat is thick, quite long. There is a large mane that stretches almost all over the back. The color of the woolen cover can be reddish, sand. In the throat area, it is much lighter. On a relatively light background of the body there are contrasting dark stripes.

    Where they live

    The zones of the resettlement of earthen wolves South and East Africa. Both populations are separated by a clear border, which is a thick tropical forests passing through the territory of Zambia, Tanzania. Favorite places of resettlement of these predators semideserts, savannahs, grassy steppes, rocky foothills, plains. At the same time, they cannot be found in forests, deserts, mountains.

    What they eat

    Although earthen wolves are hyenas, belongs to the detachment of predators, its diet is the most “harmless”. The favorite treat of these animals is termites, their eggs. In addition to this, earthen wolves use various larvae, beetles, spidershaped.

    In hunger times, they can unfold the nests of birds in search of eggs, hunt small animals.

    In order to eat termites, nature granted these predators a long tongue, sticky saliva. They prefer to feed at night, however, everything changes in winter, when the aft base decreases, the animal has to hunt insects during the day.

    Natural enemies

    Since earthen wolves are much smaller and weaker than their other relatives, enemies in their natural environment are much larger. They are often attacked:

  • Lions;
  • Large snakes;
  • Other hyenas;
  • Leopards, jaguars;
  • Wild dogs.
  • The external threat to the health and growth of the population of earthen wolves clogging the earth with pesticides, various chemical fertilizers. This negatively affects the condition of insects that earthen wolves feed on.

    Important! In most cases, farmers who are faced with earthen wolves most often do not kill these animals, as in the past. Due to their special diet, they are useful for agriculture, livestock, living in rural areas. However, the price of the skins of such predators is quite high, which is why poachers hunt them, natives.


    The lifestyle of earthen wolves is mainly night. After twilight they go hunting for insects. For a vacation during the day they dig deep holes, hide in them during the heat. They live in one place for no longer than 8 weeks, and then switch to a new place of residence. Earthen wolves die, violently protect their territory.

    Places for living are chosen so that the surrounding area is a huge number of termites. Within one fodder base, the earthen wolf sets up to a dozen Nor, in each of which a certain period of time lives.

    As for propagation, offspring, earthen wolves are very devoted predators. They form one pair, remain together for many years, until their death. In one brood can be from 1 to 4 puppies. Parents take care of them together. When the kids are getting stronger, the family move from a acquired place to a new. The average life expectancy of an earthen wolf in nature is 10 years, at home 13 years.

    Interesting Facts

    To better understand this beast, to study it from different angles, it is recommended to get acquainted with interesting facts about earthen wolves:

  • One of the most dangerous enemies for these animals, not counting people jackals.
  • If the male cannot protect his family, territory, the female mates with a stronger male. However, the initial chosen one in the future is in the future.
  • A large mane of earthen wolves is needed for a reason. It is rise in moments of danger, so that the predator looks more massive.
  • A significant part of the time is spent silently, growing menacingly during fright, aggression.
  • There is no way to dig their own hole, earthen wolves settle in abandoned shelters in the ground that other animals leave.
  • The average distance that this predator passes in 1 day in the summer is 12 km.
  • Among the whole variety of termites, earthen wolves feed on only one that rises to the surface, maximum facilitating the problem of food for the predator.
  • According to scientists who are studying hyenas on the African continent, an unknown population of earthen wolves, which is supposedly located in Central Africa, can be opened in the near future.

    Insectivorous predators are not guarded, not entered in the Red Book. However, the population of earthen wolves is gradually declining. This is due to the development of new lands by people, a decrease in the feed base. According to scientists, the next decades this species is not threatened with extinction, but this species of animals is already under control.

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