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Aardvarks are tough, burrowing mammals that originated in Africa. They are the only living species of the Tubulidentata order. Aardvarks resemble pigs. They are also called antbears and earth hogs.
See the fact file below for more information on the Aardvark or alternatively, you can download our 25-page Aardvark worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Name, Location, and Taxonomy
- The name aardvark is derived from the Afrikaans words that translates as ‘earth pig’ or ‘ground pig’ because it creates burrows to live in.
- It can be found across the African continent except for places that are for the most part rocky.
- It is the sole extant member of the order Tubulidentata (referring to mammals with tubule-style teeth) and the genus Orycteropus (referring to its burrowing feet).
- The earliest appearance of relatives of aardvarks can be traced back to the Paleocene era.
- It is closely related to tenrecs, golden moles, and elephant shrews.
- It is not closely related to pigs or South American anteaters.
- The aardvark looks like a pig even though it is not its close relative.
- It has a stout body covered in coarse hairs.
- It has four limbs.
- Its forelegs are shorter than its rear legs.
- It has four toes on its forefeet and five toes on its rear feet.
- Their feet are shaped like spades.
- The nails on its feet are hoof-like claws.
- Their claws feel like steel and are used to tear into hard ground and termite mounds.
- It is pale yellowish gray in color and becomes reddish-brown by being stained by soil.
- It has a long snout which it uses to search for food.
- The tips of their snouts are particularly mobile.
- It has a tail that is thick at the base and reduces in thickness towards its end.
- It has rabbit-like ears.
- They usually weigh between 130 to 180 pounds.
- Aardvarks are typically 105 to 130 centimeters long.
- They have long sticky tongues spanning up to 30 centimeters.
- They are able to close their nostrils to prevent dust, ants, and other particles from coming in.
- Being a member of the Tubulidentata order, they have tubule-style teeth.
- Aardvarks have poor eyesight but very sharp senses of hearing and smell.
- Suitable habitats of aardvarks are grasslands, woodlands, and savannas.
- They don’t live in swamps and rocky terrain where it’s hard to dig burrows.
- In the day, aardvarks are found in their burrows as to avoid the heat of the day.
- It is important that their habitat is full of ants and termites (their food).
- Aardvarks live up to 23 years when held in captivity.
- Aardvarks serve as prey for many species such as lions, leopards, cheetahs, pythons, and hyenas.
- To escape their predators, aardvarks run in a zigzag pattern or dig extremely fast.
- They dig burrows up to 13 meters long with more than one entrance.
- They are quick to dig their burrows but are slower in other things.
- They often change burrows. Their old burrows become homes for lions, hyenas, wild dogs, warthogs and pythons.
- Their burrows can be classified according to function: for foraging, for resting or refuge from predators, and for permanent settlement.
- They are nocturnal and travel every night to forage for food, sometimes up to 16 kilometers.
- It uses its nose and ears to search for food.
- They only eat ants and termites.
- They can eat aardvark cucumber but that’s the only fruit they can eat.
- Ants and termites do bite them, but aardvarks have tough skin to protect them.
- Aardvarks don’t make much noise except when it’s frightened; it makes a weavering cry when it gets frightened.
- Aardvarks are solitary creatures and only pair up during mating season.
- The gestation period of an aardvark is seven months.
- A baby aardvark is called a cub.
- A cub becomes mature enough to dig burrows at six months.
- A cub stays with its mother until the next breeding season.
- It takes two years before a young aardvark becomes sexually mature.
- Aardvark is the first word in the English dictionary.
- Aardvarks are digitigrades, meaning they walk on their toes, and not on the soles of their feet.
- The time it stands on its soles is when an aardvark squats.
- They can eat 50,000 to 60,000 ants and termites in one night.
- Aardvarks are good swimmers.
- Aardvarks are listed in the IUCN as least concern, meaning their population is stable.
- The first zoo to have an aardvark in captivity was London Zoo in 1869.
- The aardvark is respected in African folklore because of its diligence in hunting for food.
- Aardvark teeth are made into good luck charm bracelets by some African tribes.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about aardvark across 25 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Aardvark worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the aardvarks which are tough, burrowing mammals that originated in Africa. They are the only living species of the Tubulidentata order. Aardvarks resemble pigs. They are also called antbears and earth hogs.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Aardvark Facts
- Sketch Time
- Best Description
- Aardvark Word Search
- Predator Or Relative
- A Day In The Life
- Suitable Habitat
- Dig Deep
- True Or False
- Differentiating Animals
- Aardvark Acrostics
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Link will appear as Aardvark Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, February 23, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.