The Aardvark according to MammalMAP
The Aardvark (Orycteropus afer) can be found in sub-Saharan Africa in a broad range of habitats, including grasslands, savannah, woodlands and even semi-arid areas, anywhere water and termites are in abundance.
Aardvarks have stocky, pinkish-grey bodies with little hair, a short neck and a strongly arched back. They have powerful legs covered with dark fur. While their hind feet have five digits, their forefeet only have four, with long claw-like nails used for digging out burrows. Attached to their elongated heads are long, tubular ears, normally sticking upright. Their snouts are long and narrow with nostrils that can be sealed. They have a short and muscular, cone-shaped tail, tapering to a point.
Don’t try looking for these elusive animals during the day, as they are mostly nocturnal, only showing face during the day to soak up heat from the sun.
With a tongue up to 30 cm long, aardvarks feed almost exclusively on termites and ants, and get most of their food from underground. During the day they rest in their burrows, which they also use to escape predators. These burrowing mammals can dig 60 cm deep in 15 seconds!
Aardvarks are solitary animals, only coming together occasionally for very short periods. They give birth only once a year, and have no specific breeding season.
Aardvarks are good swimmers!
They grunt and bleat when threatened.
Lindsey, P., Cilliers, S., Griffin, M., Taylor, A., Lehmann, T. & Rathbun, G. (IUCN SSC Afrotheria Specialist Group) 2008. Orycteropus afer. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1.
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