Home > Animals > Mammals > Aardvark


(Orycteropus afer)


Category: Mammals



Aardvarks are nocturnal, burrowing mammals, recognizable by their characteristic pointy snouts and ears. The last known species of its order,Tubulidentata, it has been quite successful itself as a species, currently inhabiting much of the southern two-thirds of Africa.

Aardvarks are insectivores, existing primilarly on ants and termites. It hunts for them at night, digging them out of hills with legs and claws. Its shovel-like claws are of particular interest – the nail is extremely thick and could easily be confused hoof. While the aardvark find ants delectable and is sometimes referred to as an "anteater," (or "antbear" or "antpig") it is not closely related to the South American anteaters of the Pilosa order – it is one of a kind!


Data & Facts

Scientific Classification
Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Mammalia
Order - Tubulidentata
Family - Orycteropodidae
Genus - Orycteropus
Species - O. afer

Did you know?
Interesting Animal Facts

A 200 Million Year-old Iconoclast

If a defining trait of mammals is that they give live birth to their young, how do you explain monotremes? Monotremes are mammals that lay eggs like a reptile, rather than giving birth to live young. Living examples of these unusual animals can only be found in Australia and New Guinea today, though they used to be more widespread. A monotreme egg has less yolk for supplying nutrients than a reptile egg, and when a young echidna or platypus hatches, it is very tiny and less developed than its reptile counterpart. But monotreme babies are able to grow and thrive because their mothers stay with them, lactating to supply vital nutrients for their growth - just like other mammals!

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