Aardvark (Orycteropus afer)
Aardvark, also known as the ant-bear, is one of the most powerful mammal diggers. It has the ability to excavate burrows up to 33ft long. Aardvarks are typically 5 1/4ft long, their tail is 22in long, and they range in weight from 84-140lbs.
An aardvark is a solitary mammal found in Africa south of the Sahara. It has a large snout, large ears, a piglike body, powerful limbs, and shovel-shaped claws for digging. The aardvark has poor eyesight but it makes up for this with it's excellent sense of smell, which it uses to find termites and ants. Some aardvark's burrows are made up of extensive tunnel networks while others are shorter and provide temporary shelter. They always leave their burrow head first because they use their powerful legs to push them out.
The aardvark perfers to eat ants which are more abundant in the summer, but it also eats termites when ants are harder to find. It breaks into a nest or mound using it's front feet. The aardvark's ears fold back and it's dense hair and nostrils helps filter the dust and dirt while it digs. When the aardvark reaches the ants or termites it captures them with it's long sticky tongue. They chew one species of ant with their molar teeth, but other species of ants and all termites are swalled whole and ground up in their muscular stomach.
The information provided above can be found in Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide To The World's Wildlife.
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