The aardwolf 

The aardwolf (from Afrikaans meaning “earthwolf”) is hyperspecialised having a dentition completely different than the bone cracking hyenas. It solely eats termites focusing in particular on the genus Trinervitermes. These termites produce slightly toxic terpenoids in order to protect themselves from predation. Thus, most insectivores such as the aardvark or bat-eared foxes avoid termites under Trinervitermes.  Terpenoids are also product of decomposition and present in corpses and carrion. Coming from a scavenger family, the aardwolf produces enzymes to detoxify terpenoids and has made its own niche among the insectivores.

The aardwolf occasionally also feeds on carrion,  also they preffered termites over minced meat in zoos1





striped hyena


1              Cooper, R. & Skinner, J. Importance of termites in the diet of the aardwolf Proteles cristatus in South Africa. South African Journal of Zoology 14, 5-8 (1979).