What Do Aardvarks Eat Snuffling through Aardvark Appetites 8

Aardvark Description, Diet, Habitat, & Facts

Aardvarks are prevalent in African folklore, particularly for their bravery. Anything that doesn’t flinch in the face of hundreds of ants can be seen as pretty brave! The Hausa magicians use the heart and skin of aardvarks to create a charm, and some tribes use aardvark teeth as good-luck bracelets. At the young age of two weeks old it will begin to leave the burrow with mom, and is weaned at three months.

Aardvarks forage for food only at night and mostly find their food underground. They have bad eyesight, but have excellent senses of smell and hearing, which they use to help find termite nests. They walk in zigzags, sniffing the ground and pointing their ears forwards. Once a nest has been located, aardvarks are ideally equipped for breaking in.

What do animals eat

They surveyed eight protected and four privately owned areas in South Africa, two protected areas in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) and a location in Kenya. They collected 253 fecal samples and analyzed 104 that were of the highest quality for genetic information. Please donate £5 to help YPTE to continue its work of inspiring young people to look after our world. Aardvarks can be found across the vast majority of Africa, south of the Sahara Desert. They can be found from sub-Saharan Africa to South Africa, but there are a few countries they avoid.

What do animals eat

A baby aardvark stays in the burrow for two weeks and then begins to venture out to forage at night with its mom. Babies begin digging for their own meals when they reach six months and they grow to full size in about one year. In captivity, it is tough to replicate their natural termite and ant-based diet. In zoos, aardvarks are typically fed a semi-liquid diet which is a mix of mealworms, various fruits and vegetables, dog food, biscuits, and meat.

The four toes on the front foot (five on the hind feet) are equipped with strong, flattened nail-like “hooves” resembling spades. When the nest has been broken into, the aardvark can probe the hole with its snout. The snout is long, and is protected from dust by a fringe of rough bristles. They are ideal for feeding on ants or termites swarming through a hole in their nest. Termites are definitely the most important food source for aardvarks, and they make up the majority of their diet. A single aardvark can eat up to 50,000 termites in a single night, using its keen sense of smell to locate termite mounds.

What do animals eat

Termites provide a rich source of protein and other nutrients for aardvarks, and they are the staple of their diet. “I wanted to work on a system that was understudied, where anything I learned would likely be truly new information to the scientific community,” Epps said. “I also wanted to work over large landscapes, on foot, alone or with a friend or with guards when needed, in protected areas, with minimal logistical support and little cost.” The supersonic fighter-bomber F-111/FB-111 was nicknamed the Aardvark because of its long nose resembling the animal. It also had similarities with its nocturnal missions flown at a very low level employing ordnance that could penetrate deep into the ground. In the US Navy, the squadron VF-114 was nicknamed the Aardvarks, flying F-4s and then F-14s.

What do animals eat

They have long, spoon-shaped claws and powerful forelimbs ideally adapted to burrowing into termite mounds and can penetrate nests which could not be broken through by a man using a pickaxe. There are four claws on each front foot and five on each back foot. Because they have such a specialized diet, the collapse of a food source could effectively decimate populations in a given area, or across the country. If pollution or global climate change impacts the ants or termites that aardvarks prey on, their numbers could decrease very quickly. As we have seen as well, they also have a really great sense of smell, which helps them to locate termite mounds and other insect colonies.

Once an aardvark finds a termite or ant nest, it uses its powerful claws to dig down or rip open the nest for consumption. The other adaptation that makes aardvarks so effective at feeding on insects is their long, sticky tongue, which can be up to 30 cm, or 12 inches, in length. Their tongue is coated with sticky saliva, which helps to trap insects and bring them into the aardvark’s mouth. The aardvark’s fast digging skill also helps protect it from predators, such as hyenas and lions. When threatened, an aardvark can dig a hole and cover itself up in about ten minutes. The aardvark gets its name from a South African word meaning “earth pig.” Although the aardvark looks like a pig, especially with its body and snout, aardvarks actually share common ancestors with elephants and golden moles.

Aardvarks look like a mixture between a very large armadillo without any armor, and a pig. They have an elongated snout, long pointed ears, a rounded back, and a long tail. They have tough skin coated in sparse hair, and the hair on their legs is much longer than on the rest of their bodies. They also have dense hair around each Climate change and animal diets nostril to protect their noses while digging. The aardvark is the only species in the family Orycteropodidae and the only living member of order Tubulidentata (“tube teeth”). The ordinal name refers to the tiny columnlike tubules of dentine that are fused together to constitute each molar; adults lack canine teeth and incisors.

What do animals eat