The aardvark is the only species in the family Orycteropodidae and the only living member of order Tubulidentata. While they may resemble anteaters their closest living relatives are elephants (order Proboscidea), hyraxes (order Hyracoidea), and dugongs and manatees (order Sirenia).


The aardvark is the only species in the family Orycteropodidae and the only living member of order Tubulidentata. While they may resemble anteaters their closest living relatives are elephants (order Proboscidea), hyraxes (order Hyracoidea), and dugongs and manatees (order Sirenia).


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  1. I just recently did a deep dive on reading about aardvarks because a friend asked me what kind of animal they were. I’m not super familiar with African animals, so I had a great time getting to know them better.

    This gif is of aardvark baby Winsol at the Cincinnati Zoo. He was born in 2018. For more info on him please see the article [*Cincinnati Zoo’s Aadorable Aardvark Baby Makes Public Debut*](http://cincinnatizoo.org/news-releases/cincinnati-zoos-aadorable-aardvark-baby-makes-public-debut/).

    Aardvarks are native throughout Africa, south of the Sahara. Their name means “earth pig” in Afrikaans. Thankfully, they are of “least concern” on the [IUCN Red List](https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/41504/21286437).

    Aardvarks are nocturnal, coming out at late afternoon or evening when it’s cooler to eat termites and ants. They have long sticky tongues to grab many at once. [Here’s a photo](https://i.pinimg.com/originals/c8/01/2b/c8012ba4d97555becf61fb09c0657f9c.jpg) of one sticking its tongue out by 500 noise on the photo site 500x ([original link to image on 500x](https://500px.com/photo/32788029/the-aardvark-s-tongue-by-500-noise)).

    At night, they dig holes to hop into the escape predators. This is great for other animals who later use these holes as well. 27 species have been noted hanging out in Aardvark holes ([Kariega Game Reserve](https://www.kariega.co.za/blog/video-awesome-aardvark), South Africa).

    Interestingly they have incredibly nutritious milk. From a [Business Insider article](https://www.businessinsider.com/animal-milk-fat-sugar-protein-flamingos-wallabies-aardvarks-extreme-2019-6) about potent animal milk:

    >Meanwhile, aardvark milk doesn’t contain much sugar, but it makes up for it with extreme levels of protein. While cow’s milk has a measly 3 to 4% protein, aardvark milk can contain over 13%, making it among the highest-protein milks on earth, giving calves enough nutrition to reach 30% of their adult weight in just three months.

    For more information on Aardvarks please check out these links:

    * [*Aardvark*](https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/a/aardvark/) – National Geographic

    * [*Aardvark*](https://www.britannica.com/animal/aardvark) – Encyclopedia Britannica

    * [*Study busts the myth that aardvarks don’t drink*](https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/05/study-busts-myth-aardvarks-don-t-drink) – Science Magazine

    Videos:

    * [*Cute Aardvark Snuffles In His Sleep*](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcOLs6z3vMA) – BBC Earth Unplugged (from the documentary BBC Earth II “Grasslands” if you want to watch the entire program)
    * [*Aardvarks at the Bronx Zoo*](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Z5OoBqqYsk) – Wildlife Conservation Society

    * [*Awesome Aardvark*](https://youtu.be/aLw3hRWj1Ls) – Kariega Game Reserve

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