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Other namesPhotos: African anteater
Latin name: Orycteropus afer
size: 90 - 140cm (excluding tail)
mass: 40 - 70kg
Older: 5 - 25 years
Appearance: gray-cream-colored skin, sparse hair
Sexual dimorphism: No
Nutrition type: preferably insectivores (insektivor)
food: Ants, termites
original origin: Africa
Sleep-wake rhythm: nocturnal
habitat: Semi-desert, savanna, grass landscape
natural enemies: Hyena, leopard, lion, wild dog
sexual maturity: unknown
mating season: probably year-round
gestation: about 210 days
litter size: 1 - 2 kittens
social behavior: Loners
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Interesting about aardvark
- The aardvark or Orycteropus afer describes a mammal species, which represents the only representative within the order of the tube teeth.
- The aardvark is native to southern and central Africa, where it inhabits different habitats. It is found in savannas and semi-deserts as well as in grasslands at altitudes of up to two thousand meters and prefers flat or hilly landscapes with light slopes. In dry deserts and swampy areas, however, the aardvark does not occur.
- The aardvark is of an unmistakable appearance, defined by a strikingly curved spine, large and funnel-like ears and a massive, somewhat squat body.
- The total body length is about 180 centimeters with the long and pointed tail. The aardvark weighs up to 70 kilograms.
- Despite its clumsy physique, it is an excellent runner who can move quickly and manoeuvrable.
- The skin of the aardvark appears in a yellowish brown to gray-brown tone and is sparsely covered with coarse short hairs.
- Like pigs, the aardvark has a prolonged, with a soft nose ending muzzle.
- It lives as a loner and goes only during the night foraging.
- Since the aardvark leaves its subterranean structure only after dusk, it is relatively little explored despite its widespread use.
- On its migrations, the aardvark per night covers up to fifteen kilometers.
- With its muzzle zig-zagging it searches the ground for ants, termites and other insects, but also takes vegetables and fruit to itself.
- The mating takes place independently of season. After a gestation period of up to 210 days, the female gives birth, rarely two naked cubs, which are nursed for seven months and then begin to dig their own underground burrow. This is usually located in the immediate vicinity of the maternal territory.
- Many aardvarks fall prey to hyenas, lions or leopards.
- The life expectancy of wild aardvarks is unknown. In captivity, they can reach a lifetime of up to 25 years.