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Aardvark Range Map (Africa)
Aardvark Range Map (Africa)
Latin Name Orycteropus afer
Conservation Status Least Concern
Location Africa
Colour Yellowish/Grey/Brown
Length 1.6 m (5.25 ft)
Tail 55 cms (22 inches)
Weight 38 - 64 Kgs (84 - 140 lbs)
Life Expectancy

Up to 10 Yrs

Main Characteristics

Aardvarks are medium sized mammals reaching approximately 1.6 m (5.25 ft) in length. They have a tail length of 55 cms (22 inches) and they weigh between 38 and 64 kgs (84 - 140 lbs).

Their fur is sparse and bristly and they are grey/brown in colour with yellow and white tinges to their coat. They have a distinctive curved back, powerful limbs and large, shovel-like claws.

They have very large ears and a long snout with a small, tubular mouth. Their tongue is long and sticky and their nostrils are protected by hair to prevent dust from entering them when they are digging.

Aardvarks have poor eyesight but excellent hearing and a good sense of smell, which helps them to locate prey. Adult Aardvarks only have molar teeth, their incisors and canines fall out when they are young and are not re-grown.


Aardvarks are found in Africa, south of the Sahara desert. They inhabit grasslands, woodlands, savannahs and bush and they dig burrows for themselves which can be up to 10 m (33 ft) in length. They will have several burrows within their home range for refuge and one main one which is used for breeding. They will change they layout of their main burrow regularly and every so often they will dig a new one.

Aardvarks are solitary animals and they are active at night. They have a home range between 2 and 5 kms (0.75 - 2 miles)


Aardvarks feed upon ants and termites. They break into nests or mounds using their front feet and eat the insects using their long, sticky tongue. They have been known to eat up to 50,000 insects in one night.


After a gestation period of 243 days, Aardvarks give birth to one cub. At birth the cub will weigh approximately 1.7 Kgs (3.75 lbs). After 2 weeks the cub is able to leave the burrow with its mother and after 14 weeks it is able to eat ants.

When the young Aardvark reaches 16 weeks old it will be weaned and at 6 months old they are able to dig their own burrow. They will stay close to their mother until the next mating season and they are sexually mature when they reach 2 years of age.


The main predators of Aardvarks are lions, leopards, pythons, hyenas and humans.


Subspecies of the Aardvark include:

Orycteropus afer adametzi
Orycteropus afer aethiopicus
Orycteropus afer afer
Orycteropus afer angolensis
Orycteropus afer erikssoni
Orycteropus afer faradjius
Orycteropus afer haussanus
Orycteropus afer kordofanicus
Orycteropus afer lademanni
Orycteropus afer leptodon
Orycteropus afer matschiei
Orycteropus afer observandus
Orycteropus afer ruvanensis
Orycteropus afer senegalensis
Orycteropus afer somalicus
Orycteropus afer wardi
Orycteropus afer wertheri

Interesting Facts

Aardvarks are also known as:
Ant Bear
Earth Pig

Similar Animals

Giant Anteater
Silky Anteater
Northern Tamandua
Southern Tamandua


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