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

The Opossum Ain’t Playing

Many people associate playing dead with the opossum - that’s where the term “playing opossum” comes from, after all. But something you might not know is that when an opossum feigns death, it really goes all out! Not content with merely closing its eyes and laying down, the opossum begins drooling profusely as if ill or even rabid, releases a putrid, greenish fluid from its anal glands that makes it smell like a decaying corpse, and after losing consciousness may even mimic rigor mortis! This is quite the elaborate routine, but it isn’t conscious: when an opossum plays dead, it has actually gone into shock due to stress.

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