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

Bats: The Only True-Flying Mammal

Bats, the only mammal capable of true flight, are not blind - their eyes are just fine, thank you very much. But instead of eyes, most bats rely on an incredibly fine-tuned sense of hearing when they fly and hunt. Using a technique called echolocation, they emit high-pitched calls (usually above the range of human hearing), using the echos that are reflected back to them as a means of navigation and locating objects. The ears, auditory cortex, and (in a few cases) even noses of some bats are extraordinarily specialized for echolocation; there are even bats that have adapted the frequency of their calls to frequencies above or below what their favorite prey can hear!

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