Average lifespan in captivity: 23 years
Size: Head and body, 43 to 53 in (109 to 135 cm); Tail, 21 to 26 in (53 to 66 cm)
Weight: 110 to 180 lbs (50 to 82 kg)
The Aardvark (Orycteropus afer) is a medium-sized, burrowing, nocturnal mammal native to Africa. It is sometimes called antbear, anteater, Cape anteater, earth hog or earth pig. The word aardvark is famous for being one of the first entries to appear in many encyclopaedias and even abridged dictionaries. The aardvark is a little pig-like in appearance with large ears, a long snout, and sharp digging claws. The aardvark has a long, thin, snakelike, protruding tongue and elaborate structures supporting a keen sense of smell. The average creature is 6 feet long and weighs 100 - 150 lbs. Its diet consists of ants and termites which it feeds on by locating their nests at night.
Video of an aardvark.
What is a young baby aardvark called?
Female aardvarks typically give birth to one newborn each year. A baby aardvark is called a cub. When born a cub weighs around 2 kg. The Aardvark cub is able to leave the burrow to accompany its mother after only two weeks, and is eating termites at 14 weeks and is weaned by 16 weeks.
Where do aardvarks live?
The aardvark lives only in Africa, south of the Sahara. Their land ranges from
Sudan to South Africa. They live mainly in savannas, woodlands, grassy plains,
and bush country, but they prefer sandy soil. Their land preference mainly
consists of availability of food. They live in two to twenty foot burrows that
they dig themselves nightly. Aardvarks can dig faster than most animals, being
able to dig a long burrow in just a few minutes. They keep their burrows clean. The males are mostly nomadic, the females being more
territorial. Many other animals use abandoned aardvark burrows as shelters.
What is the color of an aardvark?
An aardvark is normally a pale yellowish gray, although it may be stained various shades of earth colors depending on the soil in which it burrows.
Does an aardvark have a tongue?
Yes aardvarks have tongues. An aardvark's tongue can be up to 12 inches (30.5 centimeters) long and is sticky to help extract termites from their mound.
How much does an aardvark eat?
An Aardvark can eat up to around 50,000 termites in one
What animal eats an aardvark?
The aardvark's main predators are lions, leopards, hunting dogs and pythons.
Aardvarks can dig fast or run in zigzag fashion to elude enemies, but if all
else fails, they will strike with their claws, tail and shoulders, sometimes
flipping onto their backs to lash with all fours. Their thick skin also protects
them to some extent.
Some other animals that eat aardvark are:
- Blesboks (South African antelope with white patch on forehead)
Caracal (long-legged nocturnal cat of African and Asian savannahs with long ears)
cusk (large Atlantic fish like the cod)
How far do aardvarks walk?
While foraging in grasslands and forests aardvarks, also called "antbears," may travel several miles a night in search of large, earthen termite mounds. A hungry aardvark digs through the hard shell of a promising mound with its front claws and uses its long, sticky, wormlike tongue to feast on the insects within. It can close its nostrils to keep dust and insects from invading its snout, and its thick skin protects it from bites. It uses a similar technique to raid underground ant nests.
Interesting facts about aardvarks.
The species dates back to the Miocene period (5 - 23M BC), and is the last survivor of primeval hoofed animals
An Aardvark only has 4 toes on its front feet
Aardvarks are nocturnal, living in burrows during the day and are very rarely seen
In addition to ants, Aardvarks also eat a type of fruit called the Aardvark Cucumber
Aardvarks can eat up to 50,000 ants in one night
A 'Blue Aardvark' was featured in the Pink Panther cartoons
The name Aardvark comes from the Afrikaans for 'Earth Pig'
Aardvarks are good swimmers and will walk up to 30km in a single night
Download free Aardvark wallpapers, click on the image to open the large version.
Aardvark wallpaper 1
Aardvark wallpaper 2
Aardvark wallpaper 3
Aardvark wallpaper 4
Aardvark Coloring pages
Print free Aardvark coloring pages, click on the image to open the large version.