what to see / Aardvark

Introduction: The unorthodox looking aardvark (Orycteropus afer) is a mammal that lives in the ground and eats ants and termites. During the 1600's, Dutch settlers in Southern Africa gave the aardvark its name, which means earth pig. Its defining characteristic is the long tubular snout, but is not like a pig in any other way. A thin coat of hair covers its thick skin and an arched back supports heavy hindquarters. The large ears look like those of a donkey and its short legs have 4 claws. The longer hind legs have 5 claws and these powerful limbs propel its muscular body and heavy tail. Apart from catching insects, the aardvark uses its claws to dig its home and few can dig as fast! In a few minutes, it has excavated a deep hole and can escape from its enemies. The aardvark sleeps during the day, and comes out for food only after dark. It usually hunts alone. People and lions often kill the aardvark for food. Warthogs and pythons sometimes take over aardvark burrows. It i... read more  Read More