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The aardwolf (Proteles cristata) is an insectivorous mammal in the family Hyaenidae, native to East and Southern Africa. Its name means "earth-wolf" in Afrikaans and Dutch. It is also called maanhaar-jackal (Afrikaans for "mane-jackal"), termite-eating hyena and civet hyena, based on its habit of secreting substances from its anal gland, a characteristic shared with the African civet. Unlike many of its relatives in the order Carnivora, the aardwolf does not hunt large animals. It eats insects and their larvae, mainly termites; one aardwolf can lap up as many as 250,000 termites during a single night using its long, sticky tongue. The aardwolf's tongue has adapted to be tough enough to withstand the strong bite of termites. The aardwolf lives in the shrublands of eastern and southern Africa – open lands covered with stunted trees and shrubs. It is nocturnal, resting in burrows during the day and emerging at night to seek food.

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