Aardvarks are incredible diggers, so well equipped with powerful spoon shaped claws they can dig a hole faster than several men with shovels. They are elusive, nocturnal, pig-like creatures, widely distributed in sub-saharan Africa, and that live on a diet of ants and termites. They have long extensible tongues and flexible tubular snouts - perfect tools for sucking up over 50,000 insects in one sitting, which they then swallow whole.
Scientific name: Orycteropus afer
Despite its bulk, the aardvark exists on a diet of ants and termites.
A shy, elusive creature, the aardvark exists on a diet of ants and termites. The males can grow to weigh as much as a fully grown man, feeding entirely on the huge numbers of these insects that live on the savannah. Termite nests can be far apart and it can take an aardvark up to an hour to find one, but they'll go to great lengths to find them as they need to eat in the region of 100,000 of these insects every night.
Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.
The Aardvark can be found in a number of locations including: Africa. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.
The following habitats are found across the Aardvark distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
Population trend: Unknown
Year assessed: 2008
Classified by: IUCN 3.1
The aardvark (/ˈɑːrd.vɑːrk/ ARD-vark, Orycteropus afer) is a medium-sized, burrowing, nocturnal mammal native to Africa. It is the only living species of the order Tubulidentata, although other prehistoric species and genera of Tubulidentata are known.
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