Aardvark Facts

Aardvark Facts
Aardvark is a mammal that resembles many different creatures: it has ears like rabbit, tongue like anteater, tail like kangaroo, webbed feet like duck and snout like pig. Despite obvious similarities, aardvark is not related to any of these animals. Aardvark lives in the sub-Saharan Africa. This is very shy creature that can be seen rarely. Some African tribes use parts of the aardvark body in their rituals or consume this animal in their diet. Luckily, aardvark is not endangered.
Interesting Aardvark Facts:
Aardvark reaches 43 to 53 inches in length (from head to tail) and weigh of 110 to 180 pounds. Tail reaches 21 to 23 inches in length.
Aardvark is nocturnal (active during the night) and solitary animal (live on its own) which gathers with other aardvarks only during mating season.
Aardvark digs shallow underground burrows (10 feet long) that are used as temporary shelters from predators during the night when it searches for food.
Temporary burrows will be abandoned when aardvark leaves the territory where it was searching for the food. When aardvarks leave the burrows, they will be inhabited by other animals, such as pythons, porcupines or birds.
Another type of burrows (that can reach up to 40 feet in length) is used as permanent residency and a place where aardvarks mate and take care of the young.
Aardvark is known as an omnivore (animal that eats both meat and plants). It is specialized for eating different types of termites and ants. Aardvark will eat plants only when its primary source of food is absent. In the case it cannot find mounds and ant-hills, aardvark will search and eat wild melons and insects with soft bodies.
Aardvark has excellent sense of smell, used for finding of the food. It also has great sense of hearing, which helps aardvark detect and hide from the predators on time.
Just like anteater, aardvark has 1 ½ foot long, sticky tongue used for catching of ants and termites. While focused on the mound, aardvark will rotate its ears backwards to track the sounds of potential predators approaching from its back.
Aardvark can eat up to 50 000 termites per night.
Skin of the aardvark body is thick and tough. It provides protection against bites of angry ants and termites. While eating, aardvark can close its nostrils to prevent dust and insects from entering the nose.
Aardvark can travel between 16 and 30 kilometers per night while searching for the food.
Main predators of aardvarks are lions, cheetahs, wild dogs, pythons, leopards and humans. Although aardvark looks like a vulnerable animal, it can defend itself when attacked using its sharp claws and strong feet. Aardvark's claws are strong as a pickaxe. When disturbed, aardvark squeals like a pig.
Aardvark is excellent swimmer thanks to its webbed feet.
Since aardvark is a shy, nocturnal animal, not much is known about its reproductive behavior. Pregnancy lasts 7 months and female gives birth to one baby, usually between October and November. Baby stays with its mother six months, after which it begins a solitary life.
Lifespan of aardvark in the wild is unknown. Aardvark lives up to 23 years in captivity.

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