|Geographical Range||Sub-Saharan Africa|
|Habitat||Dry savannas to rain forests|
|Scientific Name||Orycteropus afer|
Named Earth Pig
The name "aardvark" comes from the African name for earth pig. An aardvark's stout body, arched back and long, pig-like snout are sure to grab attention. The aardvark has partially webbed feet, long, powerful claws and large ears. Its body is covered with coarse hair.
A Nose for Burrowing
The aardvark has a thick mat of hair around its nose that acts as a dust filter when the animal uses its nose for burrowing. In fact, aardvarks excavate extensive tunnel systems to give birth to their young—these burrows can be up to 90 feet long, with numerous chambers and multiple entrances.
The sole survivors of a primitive group of animals, aardvarks have few, if any, teeth. They excavate mounds of ants and termites, which they extract with their long, sticky tongues; in the wild, they can eat up to 50,000 insects each night. However, the Zoo's aardvark diet is a protein slurry, a variety of insects and special training treats such as avocado.