The Aardvark Animal Also known as an ant-bear, the aardvark is one of the most powerful mammal diggers, excavating burrows up to 10m (33 ft) long around its home range of 2-5 square km (3/4-2 square miles). The single young is born after an average gestation period of 225 days and weighs 1.7 kg. Aardvark animal chew one species of ant with their molar teeth, but other species of ant and termites are swallowed whole and probably ground up in their muscular stomach.
Mass: 40 – 65 kg (Adult)
Weight: 40-65kg (88-145 lb)
Social unit: Individual
Status: Least concern
The only surviving member of the order Tubulidentata, the aardvark is a solitary animal found in Africa. It is characterized by non-functional, columnar cheek teeth, a long snout, large ears, a pig-like body, and powerful limbs and shovel-shaped claws for digging. Ears that can be folded back (and a profusion of nostril hairs) help keep out dirt when burrowing. The aardvark has a primitive brain and poor eyesight. It does, however, have an excellent sense of smell. This is used to locate termites and ants, which are then captured, using the animals’ long, sticky tongue.
The aardvark is a fast and prolific burrower using its strong, clawed front limbs to dig and its back feet to push away excavated soil. Some aardvark burrows consist of an extensive tunnel network; others are shorter and provide temporary refuge. The aardvark always exits its burrow head first,as shown here.
The aardvark favours ants as its food, which are more abundant in summer, but it also eats termites at times when ants are not available it breaks into a nest or mound using its front feet, which are armed with long, sharp claws. The dense long mat ofhairs that surrounds the aardvark’s nostrils effectively filters dust it digs.
The aardvark has a distinctive curved back, and its snout, ears, and tail are long and tapering. The bristly, scant, brown fur is tinged with yellows and greys.
Aardvark Animal Photos Gallery: