IUCN Redlist Status
Location and Habitat
Aardvarks are located throughout central and southern Africa, south of the Sahara Desert. They are found in several different biomes including savannas and brushlands, and sometimes rainforest. Aardvarks inhabit many of the same areas that lions, hyenas and cheetahs inhabit, and will often fall prey to these animals. This makes aardvarks necessary to the food chain in Africa.
Aardvarks feed on termites and ants. They are specialized in feeding on these insects.
They grow to be between 4 and 5 feet (1.21 - 1.52m) in length. Their tails can be as long as two feet (.61m). They can weigh anywhere between 90 to 145 lbs (41 - 66kg).
There are not many animals in the animal kingdom that resemble these creatures. Their name, which means "earth pig", is derived from a South African language called Afrikaans.
Their odd appearance begins with their large ears. Aardvarks will use their large ears to help them hear insects in the ground or any predators that are nearby. They need to be able to hear well as they are nocturnal animals, which means they come out of their burrows at night. Large ears may also help keep them cool in hot African climates, though they rarely come out during the day.
Aardvarks have long, cylindrical, pig-like noses that they use to help locate their next meal. Once they have located a termite or other insect mound, they will use their shovel-like claws to dig through the clay and the mud to break into the mound. They also have long, sticky tongues that they can then use to grab the insects and eat them.
They have two eyes, one located on either side of their long snouts. Their eyesights are poor, and are mostly reliant on their excellent hearing for protection and direction.
Aardvarks will also use their claws to dig burrows. They will stay and sleep in these burrows during the daytime, and then come out at night to search for food.
Aardvarks are the only members of the order "Tublidentata".