What Do Aardvarks Eat Snuffling through Aardvark Appetites 3

Aardvark Description, Diet, Habitat, & Facts

Once an aardvark finds a termite or ant nest, it uses its powerful claws to dig down or rip open the nest for consumption. The other adaptation that makes aardvarks so effective at feeding on insects is their long, sticky tongue, which can be up to 30 cm, or 12 inches, in length. Their tongue is coated with sticky saliva, which helps to trap insects and bring them into the aardvark’s mouth. The aardvark’s fast digging skill also helps protect it from predators, such as hyenas and lions. When threatened, an aardvark can dig a hole and cover itself up in about ten minutes. The aardvark gets its name from a South African word meaning “earth pig.” Although the aardvark looks like a pig, especially with its body and snout, aardvarks actually share common ancestors with elephants and golden moles.

Aardvarks are highly specialized to eat insects, and they have various characteristics that reflect this specific diet. Aardvarks are relatively large African mammals that roam much of the continent south of the Sahara. They are odd-looking animals, with long snouts used for finding insects. Once it uses its sensitive snout to locate food, the aardvark digs it out using sharp claws. For example, aardvarks have thick skin and tough, rubbery lips that are resistant to insect bites and stings.

What do animals eat

Aardvark cucumbers may not be a major component of the aardvark’s diet, but they do provide a good source of hydration. Aardvarks are nocturnal, burrowing mammals that can weigh up to 180 pounds. They have long snouts, similar to that of a pig, that they use, along with their claws, to locate and dig out ant and termite hills. In African folklore, the aardvark is much admired because of its diligent quest for food and its fearless response to soldier ants. Hausa magicians make a charm from the heart, skin, forehead, and nails of the aardvark, which they then proceed to pound together with the root of a certain tree.

Individuals were detected at multiple locations separated by up to 7 kilometers, indicating that home ranges could be larger than previously determined, particularly in arid areas where food resources may be low. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature lists aardvarks in the category of “least concern,” in part due to the broad range of ecosystems they inhabit. However, little is known about current population trends or their actual distribution across the landscape.

What do animals eat

Just like what they do for termites, aardvarks locate ant colonies using their well-developed sense of smell, and they use their tongue to capture them. While ants are not as important a food source as termites for aardvarks, they are still a valuable and significant part of their diet in the wild. The aardvark is a fascinating animal that is known for its unique physical features, its ability to dig burrows, and its nocturnal behavior. Another interesting thing about aardvarks is their diet, which is primarily made up of insects – but not only.

Unlike most other insectivores, it has a long snout, similar to that of a pig, which is used to sniff out food. The aardvark gets moisture from the cucumber, and the cucumber seeds are fertilized and spread. They can roam anywhere from six to eighteen miles from their burrow in a night, searching for food.

Across the study area, genetic differentiation between individuals was greater when intervening landscapes were more arid, suggesting that movement through those areas is restricted. Those factors led Epps to undertake the first study of the genetics of aardvarks in the wild and to develop noninvasive methods to do so. People have examined aardvark DNA in the past for studies of mammalian evolution, but never across wild populations. Aardvarks may also be susceptible to drought, one of the effects of climate change in Africa. In 2013, hot, dry conditions in South Africa’s Tswalu Kalahari Reserve killed off some of the aardvarks’ insect prey.

The four toes on the front foot (five on the hind feet) are equipped with strong, flattened nail-like “hooves” resembling spades. When the nest has been broken into, the aardvark can probe the hole with its snout. The snout is long, and is protected from dust by a fringe of rough bristles. They are ideal for feeding on ants or termites swarming through a hole in their nest. Termites are definitely the most important food source for aardvarks, and they make up the majority of their diet. A single aardvark can eat up to 50,000 termites in a single night, using its keen sense of smell to locate termite mounds.

Termites provide a rich source of protein and other nutrients for aardvarks, and they are the staple of their diet. “I wanted to work on a system that was understudied, where anything I learned would likely be truly new information to the scientific community,” Epps said. “I also wanted to work over large landscapes, on foot, alone or with a friend or with guards when needed, in protected areas, with Check this for Future of animal diets minimal logistical support and little cost.” The supersonic fighter-bomber F-111/FB-111 was nicknamed the Aardvark because of its long nose resembling the animal. It also had similarities with its nocturnal missions flown at a very low level employing ordnance that could penetrate deep into the ground. In the US Navy, the squadron VF-114 was nicknamed the Aardvarks, flying F-4s and then F-14s.

They have long, spoon-shaped claws and powerful forelimbs ideally adapted to burrowing into termite mounds and can penetrate nests which could not be broken through by a man using a pickaxe. There are four claws on each front foot and five on each back foot. Because they have such a specialized diet, the collapse of a food source could effectively decimate populations in a given area, or across the country. If pollution or global climate change impacts the ants or termites that aardvarks prey on, their numbers could decrease very quickly. As we have seen as well, they also have a really great sense of smell, which helps them to locate termite mounds and other insect colonies.

What do animals eat

Aardvarks are prevalent in African folklore, particularly for their bravery. Anything that doesn’t flinch in the face of hundreds of ants can be seen as pretty brave! The Hausa magicians use the heart and skin of aardvarks to create a charm, and some tribes use aardvark teeth as good-luck bracelets. At the young age of two weeks old it will begin to leave the burrow with mom, and is weaned at three months.

Gestation lasts eight months, after which a female births a single cub. The baby, hairless and about six pounds, is born during a peak time of food availability—either before or during the rainy season. As burrowing mammals with porcine snouts, aardvarks are true to their name, which translates to “earth pig” in the Afrikaans language. Ants also provide a good source of protein and other nutrients for aardvarks. So they are a good alternative to termites when they are not available.

Their strong claws are also particularly useful to dig into termite mounds or the soil. But sometimes, it will also consume other types of insects, such as beetles and grubs. But again, these insects make up only a small portion of the aardvark’s diet.

A baby aardvark stays in the burrow for two weeks and then begins to venture out to forage at night with its mom. Babies begin digging for their own meals when they reach six months and they grow to full size in about one year. In captivity, it is tough to replicate their natural termite and ant-based diet. In zoos, aardvarks are typically fed a semi-liquid diet which is a mix of mealworms, various fruits and vegetables, dog food, biscuits, and meat.

This mixture provides the aardvark with all the nutrients they need and are a good substitute for their natural diet. All of these adaptations work together to make aardvarks highly specialized – and effective predators of insects that live in the soil. In South Africa, the genetic information they gathered suggested three regional divisions of aardvarks, indicating that animals in western, central and eastern regions of South Africa were somewhat isolated from each other.

Aardvarks forage for food only at night and mostly find their food underground. They have bad eyesight, but have excellent senses of smell and hearing, which they use to help find termite nests. They walk in zigzags, sniffing the ground and pointing their ears forwards. Once a nest has been located, aardvarks are ideally equipped for breaking in.

What do animals eat