Facts about Aardvarks

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Aardvark means “earth pig” but they are not related to pigs. They’re not even related to any other animal on the planet, making them the only branch on their family tree. Here are more facts about these very unique animals.

Fact 1: Aardvarks are disproportionately funny looking with huge rabbit like ears, a snout like a pig, a tail thick like a kangaroos but naked like an opossum with webbed feet like a duck.

Fact 2: It has a long sticky tongue similar to an anteater, up to 20 inches long and covered with glue like saliva.

Fact 3: Aardvarks are nocturnal. They sleep during the day then emerge from their burrows at sundown to forage for food. They are very rarely seen.

Fact 4: Babies are born with incisor and canine teeth that fall out leaving only molars, which will re-grow throughout their lifetime. Aardvark teeth have no enamel coating making them very soft.

Fact 5: Aardvarks live in burrows 20 to 40 feet long that they dig themselves. When they move out of the burrows they are quickly taken over by small animals and even python snakes.

Fact 6: The nostrils of the aardvark are lined with coarse hairs and equipped with flaps of skin that close up while digging to prevent inhaling dust but can also open to inhale ants and termites through the nose.

Fact 7: Aardvarks can eat 50,000 ants or termites, their preferred food, in one sitting. When ants or termites aren’t available they will eat a fruit called aardvark cucumbers.

Fact 8: Aardvarks have an incredible sense of smell to help them find food and excellent hearing so they don’t become food.

Fact 9: Hard as a pick axe, their shovel like claws allow the aardvark to break into termite mounds that are as hard as concrete.

Fact 10: Aardvarks are good swimmers and will walk up to 30km in a single night.

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