35 Interesting Facts about Aardvarks

Aardvarks are unique mammals that are native to Africa. They are known for their distinctive long snouts, which they use to sniff out their prey. These animals have a gray-brown fur, a short tail, and a stocky build. Aardvarks are about the size of a small pig and can weigh up to 140 pounds. They are primarily nocturnal animals and are active at night.

Aardvarks are insectivores, which means that they feed on insects such as termites and ants. They have an incredibly long and sticky tongue, which can extend up to 12 inches to catch prey. Aardvarks use their sharp claws to dig into termite and ant nests and then use their long tongues to lap up their prey. They can consume up to 50,000 insects in a single night.

Aardvarks are solitary animals and are only known to come together for breeding purposes. They are generally non-aggressive animals and prefer to avoid confrontation. Aardvarks are preyed upon by a variety of predators, including lions, hyenas, and pythons. When threatened, aardvarks will often retreat into their burrows, which they dig with their powerful claws.

Aardvarks are currently classified as a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, their population is declining in some parts of their range due to habitat loss and hunting. Despite this, aardvarks continue to be an important part of African ecosystems, playing a crucial role in controlling insect populations and maintaining soil health.



To give us more knowledge about aardvarks, let’s take a look at 35 interesting facts about aardvarks.

  1. Aardvarks are nocturnal animals and are most active at night.
  2. They are native to Africa and can be found in a variety of habitats, from savannas to forests.
  3. Aardvarks have a unique adaptation in their snouts that helps them detect the vibrations of insects underground.
  4. Their name comes from the Afrikaans language and means “earth pig.”
  5. Aardvarks have a long, sticky tongue that can extend up to 12 inches to catch prey.
  6. They are solitary animals and are only known to come together for breeding purposes.
  7. Aardvarks are excellent diggers and can excavate burrows with their powerful claws.
  8. They can close their nostrils to keep dirt and dust out while digging.
  9. Aardvarks are covered in coarse, bristly hair that protects their skin from insect bites.
  10. They have poor eyesight but have an excellent sense of smell and hearing.
  11. Aardvarks are preyed upon by lions, hyenas, and pythons, among others.
  12. They can run up to 20 miles per hour when threatened.
  13. Aardvarks have a lifespan of around 23 years in captivity.
  14. They are the only species in the order Tubulidentata.
  15. Aardvarks have four toes on their front feet and five toes on their back feet.
  16. They have a keen sense of touch in their snouts and use it to locate food.
  17. Aardvarks can eat up to 50,000 ants or termites in a single night.
  18. They do not have any teeth, and instead grind up their food using their strong stomach muscles.
  19. Aardvarks can weigh up to 140 pounds.
  20. They have a unique gait that is sometimes described as a cross between a waddle and a gallop.
  21. Aardvarks are territorial animals and will mark their territory with their scent.
  22. They are not social animals and generally avoid interaction with other aardvarks.
  23. Aardvarks are excellent swimmers and can hold their breath for up to 2 minutes.
  24. They have a prehensile tail that can be used to help balance while climbing or walking.
  25. Aardvarks can go without water for long periods of time, getting most of their moisture from the insects they eat.
  26. They are the only mammals that have a straight, tube-shaped ear canal.
  27. Aardvarks are able to survive in areas with very low food resources by slowing down their metabolism.
  28. They have a thick skin that is resistant to insect bites and scratches from digging.
  29. Aardvarks are known to be susceptible to certain diseases, such as trypanosomiasis.
  30. They are able to regulate their body temperature by burrowing underground during the day.
  31. Aardvarks are important to African ecosystems as they help control insect populations and maintain soil health.
  32. They are able to detect termites and ants from a distance of up to 2 feet away.
  33. Aardvarks are sometimes hunted for their meat or for use in traditional medicine.
  34. They are able to store fat in their tails, which can be used as an energy source during periods of low food availability.
  35. Aardvarks have a low reproductive rate, with females giving birth to only one offspring per year.

Aardvarks are fascinating animals with a range of unique adaptations that allow them to thrive in their African habitats. While they may not be as well-known as some other African animals, their importance to their ecosystems cannot be overstated. Despite facing threats from habitat loss and hunting, aardvark populations continue to persist, and efforts are being made to protect and conserve these incredible animals for future generations to enjoy.