Aardvark is a small pig-like mammal which is observed inhabiting a extensive range of various habitats for the duration of Africa, south of the Sahara. they may be usually solitary and spend their days napping in underground burrows to shield them from the heat of the African sun, rising in the cooler evening to look for meals.
Their call originates from the Afrikaans language in South Africa and means Earth Pig, because of their long snout and pig-like body. Aardvarks are specific among animals as they may be the only surviving species in their animal circle of relatives.
Till these days it changed into widely believed that they were most closely related to different insectivores along with armadillos and pangolins however this isn’t always the case with their closest living relatives absolutely notion to be elephants.
Scientific Name: Comprised of the genus followed by the species Orycteropus afer
Common Name: Aardvark
Other Name(s): Antbear, Earth Pig
Aardvark Anatomy & Appearance
Aardvarks have a completely unique appearance among mammals (and indeed all animals) as they show physical characteristics of a number of specific animal species. they have medium-sized, almost hairless bodies and lengthy snouts that make them appearance particularly pig-like at the start, with thick skin that each protects them from the recent sun and additionally from being harmed via insect bites.
They are capable of near their nostrils to forestall dust and bugs from entering their nose. they have got tubular, rabbit-like ears which could stand on cease but also can be folded flat to prevent dirt from entering them whilst they are underground. Aardvarks have strong, claws on every of their spade-like feet that in conjunction with the truth that their hind legs are longer than their the front legs, makes them robust and succesful diggers able to excavate giant amounts of earth at an alarming fee.
Due to the reality that they spend maximum in their lives underground or out hunting inside the darkish at night time, they have got bad eyesight however are capable of effortlessly navigate their surrounding using their first rate experience of smell to each find prey and to feel potential chance.
Colour: Brown, grey, yellow
Skin Type: Hair
Size (L): 1.05m – 2.20m (3.4ft – 7.3ft)
Weight: 60kg – 80kg (130lbs – 180lbs)
Top Speed: 40kph (25mph)
Aardvark Distribution and Habitat
Aardvark is found in a extensive variety of different habitats during sub-Saharan Africa from dry deserts to the moist rainforest regions. The only stipulation (aside from having desirable get right of entry to to lots of food and water) is to have properly soil wherein they are able to dig their vast burrows. Notwithstanding being fantastically professional at digging in sandy or clay soil sorts, rockier areas show extra of a task to create their underground houses so the aardvark will circulate to another area in which soil conditions are better suited to digging.
Their burrows may be up to ten meters (33 toes) long in a home variety that can be anywhere from 2 to five kilometres square. Their burrows often having a couple of entrances and are always left head first so they’re capable of identify ability predators easily using their keen sense of smell.
Number Of Species: 18
Location: Sub-Saharan Africa
Habitat: Sandy and clay soil
Aardvark Behaviour and lifestyle
Aardvarks are specifically solitary animals that come collectively handiest to mate and are in no way determined in huge groups. They stay in underground burrows to shield them both from the hot daytime sun and from predators. Aardvarks are nocturnal mammals, only leaving the protection of the burrow below the quilt of night time once they cross looking for meals and water, regularly journeying several miles with a purpose to discover the biggest termite mounds guided with the aid of their amazing hearing and feel of smell.
Despite often having a big burrow constituted of an extensive community of tunnels, aardvarks are also known for you to quick excavate small temporary burrows in which they are able to guard themselves quick in preference to having to return to their original residing.
Aardvark duplicate and existence Cycles
Aardvarks have precise mating seasons that occur each 12 months. depending at the location in which the aardvark lives young can be born either in October to November, or might also to June in different regions. acknowledged to have infants most years, females provide beginning to a single offspring after a gestation length that normally lasts for around 7 months.
Newborn aardvarks frequently weigh as low as 2kg and are born with hairless, purple skin within the protection of their mother’s burrow. Child aardvark spend the first two weeks of their lives inside the protection of the underground burrow earlier than beginning to project out with their mom beneath the cover of night time. however, notwithstanding accompanying their mom searching for meals they are not weaned till they’re round 3 months vintage. younger aardvarks stay with their mom in her burrow.
Until they’re around six months antique once they pass out to dig a burrow of their own. despite the fact that their lifespan inside the wild isn’t always completely clear, aardvarks tend to live for more than 20 years in captivity.
Life Span: 23 years
Age Of Sexual Maturity: 2 years
Gestation Period: 7 months
Average Litter Size: 1
Name Of Young: Cub
Age Of Weaning: 3 months
Aardvark diet and Prey
The eating regimen of aardvarks is especially made from ants and termites, with termites being their desired food supply. notwithstanding this though, they are recognized to also devour different bugs which include beetles and insect larvae. Aardvark is constructed to be insectivores, with sturdy limbs and claws which might be able to breaking into the more difficult outer shell of termite mounds very successfully.
Once they have damaged into the mound they then use their long, sticky tongue to reap the bugs inside and eat them entire with out chewing as they’re then ground down of their muscular stomachs. one of the aardvarks most exceptional capabilities is the truth that they have columnar cheek-teeth that serve no practical motive in any respect.
With some large ant species that need to be chewed they use the incisors which might be positioned in the direction of the again in their mouths. Aardvarks also are able to use the equal strategies to interrupt into underground ant nests.
Aardvark Predators and Threats
Despite the fact that aardvarks are nocturnal animals that stay in the protection of underground burrows, they’re threatened by way of a number of different predators at some point of their herbal surroundings. Lions, leopards, hyenas and huge snakes (most significantly pythons) are the main predators of aardvarks however this does vary relying on wherein the aardvark lives.
Their major shape of defence is to escape very quickly underground however, they may be additionally recognized to be pretty competitive while threatened through these large animals. Aardvark use its robust, sharp claws to attempt to injure their attacker along side kicking the threatening animal with their effective lower back legs. Aardvarks are also threatened by human beings who hunt them and destroy their herbal habitats.
Prey: Termites, Ants
Predators: Lions, Leopards, Hyenas
Aardvark thrilling statistics and functions
Aardvark use its long, sticky tongue to lap as much as 50,000 bugs a night from inner termite mounds or underground ant nests. Their bug-like tongues can simply develop as much as 30 cm in period which means they can reach more termites further into the mound. Their love of insects has virtually led aardvarks also being referred to as Antbears! curiously sufficient, aardvarks are also thought to get almost all of the moisture they want from their prey meaning that they virtually need to bodily drink very little water.
Aardvarks are concept to be one of the international’s most prolific diggers with their strong limbs and claws and shovel-like ft helping them with a purpose to shift 2ft of soil in only 15 seconds!
Group Behaviour: Solitary
Aardvark dating with human beings
Due to the truth that they spend the daylight hours hours hidden inside the safety in their underground burrows, only emerging underneath the duvet of night time to seek for food, aardvarks are very seldom visible through many humans. In a few areas although, they’re hunted by using human beings for meals and have become increasingly more affected by increasing human populations as greater of their herbal habitats disappear to make way for developing settlements.
Conservation Status: Least Concern
Estimated Population Size: Unknown
Biggest Threat: Habitat loss
Aardvark Conservation fame and existence today
Today, aardvarks are listed through the IUCN as a species that is of Least difficulty. despite the reality that populace numbers of aardvark most really declined in a few international locations, in others, their numbers stay stable and they are often commonly determined in each blanketed regions and regions with suitable habitats.
They are however becoming an increasing number of affected by habitat loss in both the form of deforestation and expanding cities and villages. due to their fantastically elusive nature, precise population sizes aren’t absolutely understood.
Most Distinctive Feature: Long, sticky tongue and rabbit-like ears
Fun Fact: Can move up to 2ft of soil in just 15 seconds!