Temporal range:
Aardvark (Orycteropus afer).jpg
At Royal Burgers' Zoo, Arnhem, Netherlands
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Tubulidentata
Family: Orycteropodidae
Genus: Orycteropus
O. afer
Binomial name
Orycteropus afer
(Pallas, 1766)

See text

Map of Africa showing a highlighted range (in green) covering most of the continent south of the Sahara desert
Aardvark range
Skeleton of an aardvark

The aardvark (/ˈɑːrdvɑːrk/ ARD-vark; Orycteropus afer) is a medium-sized, burrowing, nocturnal mammal native to Africa.[2][3] It is the only living species of the order Tubulidentata,[4][5] although other prehistoric species and genera of Tubulidentata are known. Unlike most other insectivores, it has a long snout, similar to that of a pig, which is used to sniff out food.

The aardvark is found over much of the southern two-thirds of the African continent, avoiding areas that are mainly rocky. A nocturnal feeder, it subsists on ants and termites, which it will dig out of their hills using its sharp claws and powerful legs. It also digs to create burrows in which to live and rear its young. The animal is listed as "least concern" by the IUCN, although its numbers are decreasing. Aardvarks are afrotheres, a clade which also includes elephants, manatees, and hyraxes.

  1. ^ Taylor, A.; Lehmann, T. (2015). "Orycteropus afer". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2015: e.T41504A21286437. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-2.RLTS.T41504A21286437.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  2. ^ Hoiberg 2010, pp. 3–4
  3. ^ "Aardvark, n." Dictionary of South African English. Dictionary Unit for South African English, 2018. 26 February 2019.
  4. ^ Schlitter 2005, p. 86
  5. ^ Cite error: The named reference EoM was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

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