Aardvark in exhibit

Aardvark

Scientific Name

Orycteropus afer afer

Class

Mammalia

Order

Tubulidentata

Range

Sub-saharan and Central Africa

Habitat

Grasslands and savannas

Estimated Wild Population

n/a
Aardvark in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: Lower Risk - Least Concern IUCN Conservation Status: Lower Risk - Least Concern

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Physical Description

Aardvarks have large fleshy ears, a long tail, a prominent snout, and a long sticky tongue that can slip inside termite mounds to capture prey. These distinctive mammals have a gray body that is lightly covered in hair. They can reach up to four feet in length and weigh 120 pounds. Nocturnal, they forage for food at night and rest during the day. Solitary and territorial animals, they only come together to breed. Females give birth in their burrow and newborns remain underground for several weeks until they mature.

Interesting Fact 1

Aardvarks are powerful diggers that use their thick nails to break into termite and ant mounds in search of food.

Interesting Fact 2

"Aardvark" translates to "earth pig" in South Africa's Afrikaans language.

Interesting Fact 3

Their tongue can measure up to 11 inches long.

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Species Survival Plan®

We cooperate with other members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to manage the zoo population of this species through a Species Survival Plan®.

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