What Do Aardvarks Eat Snuffling through Aardvark Appetites

Scientists collect aardvark poop to understand how the species is impacted by climate in Africa

They also have long, sticky tongues that they use to capture insects, which helps to keep them at a safe distance from the insects’ mandibles. Beetles and grubs are often found in decaying logs or in the soil, and once again, it is aardvarks’ sense of smell and claws that enable them to locate and eat these insects. As other good sources of protein and other nutrients, these other insects help to supplement their diet in the wild. Aardvarks use their claws to dig up the fruit, and then use their powerful jaws to crack open the hard outer shell to access the fleshy interior.

This mixture provides the aardvark with all the nutrients they need and are a good substitute for their natural diet. All of these adaptations work together to make aardvarks highly specialized – and effective predators of insects that live in the soil. In South Africa, the genetic information they gathered suggested three regional divisions of aardvarks, indicating that animals in western, central and eastern regions of South Africa were somewhat isolated from each other.

If threatened while away from a sheltering burrow, an aardvark can dig its way out of sight in five minutes. An acute sense of hearing protects it from being surprised by predators, which include pythons, lions, leopards, and hyenas. If a predator tries to dig it out of its burrow, the aardvark rapidly moves soil to block the tunnel behind itself. The nocturnal animals use their long noses and keen sense of smell to sniff out ants and termites, which they lap up with an anteater-like tongue covered in sticky saliva. These insects make up most of the aardvark’s diet, although they’ll occasionally eat beetle larvae. The aardvark is found over much of the southern two-thirds of the African continent, avoiding areas that are mainly rocky.

What do animals eat

Aardvarks are the only living member of the order Tubulidentata, and their most closely living relatives include golden moles, elephants and manatees. As night falls, aardvarks will emerge cautiously from their dens, jumping around on the lookout for predators. They are able to see at night, but otherwise have poor vision and are color-blind. They rely on their senses of sound and smell, using their long ears and snouts to get around and find insects.

Gestation lasts eight months, after which a female births a single cub. The baby, hairless and about six pounds, is born during a peak time of food availability—either before or during the rainy season. As burrowing mammals with porcine snouts, aardvarks are true to their name, which translates to “earth pig” in the Afrikaans language. Ants also provide a good source of protein and other nutrients for aardvarks. So they are a good alternative to termites when they are not available.

What do animals eat

Recent research suggests that aardvarks may be particularly vulnerable to alterations in temperature caused by climate change. Aardvarks are amazing, and unique animals that have a highly specialized diet consisting mainly of insects, with termites being their primary food source. Aardvarks are well adapted to feeding on insects, Doeat.top The importance of diet for animals with several unique physical adaptations that help them to locate, capture, and consume their prey. As we have seen, aardvarks have several physical adaptations that make them highly effective at feeding on insects in the soil. It allows them to root through the soil and dig deep into termite mounds to access their prey.

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. Ants are more plentiful during the wet season, whilst termites are more common in the dry season.

What do animals eat