The aardvark is a medium-sized and odd-looking nocturnal mammal. Sightings are extremely rare, however, our safari guides were fortunate to capture some awesome video footage and photographs.
Ten Interesting Facts About Aardvark
- The name aardvark is an Afrikaans word which literally means Earth pig.
- An aardvark looks like it is made up of spare parts of other animals! It has rabbit-like ears, a tail like a kangaroo and bear-like claws.
- Aardvarks mostly feed on ants and termites. This makes them a formivore.
- The tongue of an aardvark can reach up to 30cm (12 inches) in length.
- Aardvark's don't chew their food but grind it up in their very muscular stomachs.
- The life span of an aardvark is around 23 years (in captivity).
- Aardvarks are admired in African folklore because of their tireless quest for food and gutsy response to biting soldier ants.
- The first aardvark in Europe was one taken to the London Zoo in 1869 from South Africa.
- Aardvarks often dig many holes during the night. These are used as protection against predators. The holes are also used by as many as 27 other animal species including warthogs, porcupines, mongoose and snakes.
- Threats to aardvark include lions, hyenas, leopards and humans.
Aardvark mostly feed on ants and termites which they locate using their excellent sense of smell. Once the aardvark finds its food it will start digging with its sharp claws. Aardvarks never destroy the whole termite mound as this is their main food source. They only harvest what they need from each site. The termites will then fix up the damage as quickly as possible. The aardvark will most likely visit in a few weeks to feed again.
Were you lucky enough to see an aardvark during your safari at Kariega Game Reserve? Post your comments below or share them on our Facebook page, via Twitter and Instagram. You can also upload a video on YouTube and add Kariega Game Reserve in the title.