The aardvark – possibly one of the more elusive animals that you are likely to see on your African safari. If you want to see your ranger/guide grimace or have a look of fear cross his face, make sure you specifically say that seeing an aardvark would really make your safari dreams come true!
Here are 10 interesting facts that you may (or may not) already know about this burrowing, nocturnal animal that is native to Africa. You never know, one of the facts may even come up in your local pub quiz one night. Then how clever will you look!
1. It is the only living species of the order Tubulidentata (a species uniquely identified by their teeth).
2.The name ‘aardvark’ comes from the Afrikaans for ‘earth pig’ or ‘ground pig’, because of its burrowing habits and its vague resemblance to – guess what – a pig.
3. It is also known as the African Antbear.
4. An aardvark’s tongue is up to 30 cm in length.
5. A hungry aardvark can catch as many as 50,000 insects in one night with it’s long, sticky tongue.
6. They live in burrows, and can dig a hole up to 2 feet in 15 seconds.
7. They can live up to 24 years.
8. When threatened by predators, they either dig a defensive burrow very fast fast or they run in a zigzag fashion. to try to elude their hunter. Failing that, they will roll onto their back and attack with their claws, tails and shoulders.
9. The Egyptian God Set is said (by some) to have the head of an aardvark.
10. Aardvark is the second word in your English dictionary.