Too Cute for Words
You know what’s amazing about our planet? The super cute animals that inhabit it. And you know what we love even more? That there are still tons of cute animals out there that have yet to be discovered.
Our case in point: scientists have recently discovered a new creature in South Africa that is so darn cute you may explode in a pile of heart emojis simply from looking at it.
Wait until you see this little guy…
The Competition is Fierce
When it comes to who is the cutest in the natural world, the competition is fierce. And we’re not just talking babies. Some animals you just want to cuddle to death even as adults.
Seriously, look at this Fennec Fox. Have you ever seen something so adorable in your life?
Well, just wait because this newly discovered creature may just beat out them all.
New Species Discovered Daily
One of the crazy facts about our planet is that scientists are finding new species each and every day. While you would think we’d know by now everything that lives on our planet, nature continues to surprise us.
In fact, a new species of ant was just discovered in 2018 that explodes when it feels threatened. While that is NOT cute, it’s amazing just the same.
The Cradle of Life
South Africa is considered to be “the cradle of life” in terms of its numerous ecosystems and wildlife that lives there. Many species long thought to be extinct have been discovered alive in the area, and new species are found quite often.
So when scientists stumbled upon an adorable creature they’d never seen before, let’s just say they were more than thrilled.
The Cutest Critter Ever
The absolutely adorable little guy reminded them of a close relative to the hyena.
However, these creatures were so much more than meets the eye…
Pleased to Meet You
Meet the Aardwolf, which means the “earth wolf.” It’s closely related to hyenas as well as the jackal, but that’s where the similarities stop.
Can we just say we’d totally take 20 of these cuties and start our own earth wolf sanctuary?
The Facts of Life
When studying the aardwolf, wildlife experts discovered they lived primarily in the brushlands of South Africa. It was also observed that they weren’t pack animals but roamed solo often.
In fact, this fuzz ball of preciousness is quite independent.
I Need My Beauty Sleep
The Aardwolf is a nocturnal creature and definitely NOT a morning person. While scientists observed them during the day, they mostly scavenged for food at night, while using the daylight hours to catch up on their rest.
We totally get it. We’re creatures of the night over here!
Hold the Meat, Please!
Unlike their distant relative the hyena, the aardwolf doesn’t eat meat. In fact, it prefers insects like termites and ants. They also like to get in their veggies by devouring local plant life.
Well, now we know how they maintain their photogenic looks–it’s all in the diet.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
While many species tend to stick with their own kind, the aardwolf is quite the social butterfly. They’ve been seen interacting with a wide variety of species and don’t seem to be territorial.
We knew we liked these guys for a reason. When’s the block party?
Mi Casa, Su Casa!
One unique feature of this creature is it likes to burrow into the ground when it comes to making a home. Despite not being “pack” animals per say, they do live in a family unit, especially when the babies are young.
The aardwolf also loves to share their burrows, so they kind of operate their own mini-hostels. Cool, right?
The Thrill of the Hunt
So how do these cuties hunt? Well, they have a very keen sense of smell. Using their noses, they sniff out termite and ant mounds at night when the insects are dormant. This makes for some super easy grub.
They also have super cute tongues that lick up the bugs. You won’t believe it but one of these guys can eat over 300,000 termites in one go.
Don’t Hate Me Because I’m So Adorable
Despite their large appetites, these sweet creatures grow in conjunction with how much they eat. Therefore, the more they eat, the more they will grow to accommodate their appetites.
Definitely sounds like most of America, don’t you think?
Tiny and Mighty
Now, it’s important to point out that in general, the aardwolf doesn’t get very big, to begin with. A full-grown adult will be smaller than a forest fox. This is partially why they are seen as such cuties.
However, don’t underestimate these little fellas, they can put take care of themselves when the going gets tough.
One Love for Life
Another unique trait the aardwolf has is its ability to mate for life. Just like the penguin, this sweet little wolf will stay with its love forever.
And people think monogamy is dead? Maybe it’s time to look to nature for some relationship advice.
Growing in Numbers
While we live in a world where species are disappearing quite frequently, the aardwolf population has remained steady. In fact, experts believe their numbers are growing.
It’s amazing how mother nature works, right? Though when it comes to looks, there are other animals out there that are super cute as well.
The Pygmy Hippo is Quite Adorable Too
For starters, the pygmy hippopotamus is probably the most precious thing we’ve seen since the aardwolf.
Can we please have one to keep in our bathtub?
Otters Might Beat Out the Others
Otters are also known for their adorable antics. They even hold hands with each other! How cute is that?
Did we mention we might be guilty of late night otter video binges? Yes, we need help!
Cute and Quacky
And let’s not forget the Mandarin duck. Not only is it absolutely the cutest duck we’ve ever seen, but those colors? We know quite a few fashion designers who would kill for such a color palette.
The Cuteness of the Wild World
As you can see, the world is filled with animals you just want to pick up and squeeze! Though, we’d recommend NOT doing that to a wild animal. Who knows what they might do.
Well, except for the aardwolf…we’d risk limbs to hug that cute creature.