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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

The age-defying Brandt’s bat

In most mammals, larger size correlates with longer lifespan, but that is not the case with the Brandt’s bat, who can live up to 41 years and weigh less than 0.28 ounces! These bats resemble larger, longer-lived mammals in that they mature slowly and have fewer offspring – but the size difference is dramatic: a female Bonobo lives for approximately 40 years as well, but she outweighs the Brandt’s bat by a factor of 3,771! Oddly enough, it is suspected that the mutated gene that causes the bat’s dwarfish size is the same one that leads to its long lifespan. Studying animals with unusual longevity like the Brandt’s bat does more than just satisfy our curiosity, it could lead to longer, healthier lifespans for humans and other animals!

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