15 Fascinating Fun Facts About Aardvarks

0 0
Read Time:4 Minute, 16 Second

Are you ready to dive into the world of one of Africa’s most peculiar creatures? Aardvarks may not be the first animal that comes to mind when you think of African wildlife, but these unique beings are full of surprises. From their ant-eating habits to their impressive digging skills, aardvarks are truly one-of-a-kind. Let’s explore 15 fun facts about these fascinating animals that will leave you in awe!

1. The Name Game

Have you ever wondered where the aardvark got its name? Well, it’s quite interesting! The word “aardvark” comes from Afrikaans, a language spoken in South Africa. It literally means “earth pig” or “ground pig.” But don’t let the name fool you – aardvarks aren’t related to pigs at all!

2. A Unique Family Tree

Standing Alone

Believe it or not, aardvarks are the only living species in their order, Tubulidentata. This means they don’t have any close living relatives. Talk about being one of a kind! Their closest living relatives are actually elephants and manatees, which might come as a surprise given their appearance.

3. Built for Digging

Aardvarks are nature’s excavators. Their powerful claws and muscular legs make them excellent diggers. In fact, they can dig faster than a human with a shovel! This skill comes in handy for both finding food and creating burrows to live in.

4. Nocturnal Nomads

Night Owls of the Savanna

These creatures are primarily nocturnal, meaning they’re most active at night. During the day, they sleep in their burrows to avoid the heat. Can you imagine having such a reversed schedule?

5. Ant-eaters Extraordinaire

Aardvarks have a diet that might make your skin crawl – they primarily eat ants and termites! Using their long, sticky tongues, they can consume up to 50,000 insects in a single night. Talk about a protein-packed dinner!

6. Sensory Superpowers

A Nose for Success

Aardvarks have an incredible sense of smell. They can detect insects underground and even smell water from a distance. This superpower helps them survive in their arid habitats.

7. Unique Teeth

Did you know that aardvarks have teeth unlike any other mammal? Their teeth have no enamel coating and are made up of many thin tubes of dentine. These teeth continuously grow throughout their lives, much like rodents’ teeth.

8. Masters of Camouflage

While they might look a bit odd to us, aardvarks are actually well-camouflaged in their natural habitat. Their grayish-brown color helps them blend in with the African savanna, providing protection from predators.

9. Impressive Swimmers

Aquatic Adventures

Surprisingly, aardvarks are excellent swimmers! Despite living in dry environments, they can swim and even dive underwater. Who would have thought these “earth pigs” could be so aquatically inclined?

10. Silent but Deadly

Aardvarks are generally quiet animals, but they can make quite a ruckus when threatened. They can grunt, snort, and even let out a loud bleating sound similar to a donkey’s bray when alarmed.

11. Aardvark Babies

Adorable Aardvarklets

Baby aardvarks, called cubs or calves, are born pink and hairless. They start to grow their distinctive fur at about two weeks old. Isn’t it amazing how quickly they develop?

12. Climate Change Warriors

Believe it or not, aardvarks play a crucial role in their ecosystems. Their abandoned burrows provide shelter for many other animals, and their foraging helps control insect populations. In a way, they’re nature’s own ecosystem engineers!

13. Long-lived Legends

Age is Just a Number

In the wild, aardvarks can live up to 23 years. In captivity, they’ve been known to live even longer – up to 30 years! That’s quite a long life for such a unique creature.

14. Cultural Significance

Aardvarks have made their mark in popular culture. From Arthur the aardvark in children’s literature to various appearances in movies and TV shows, these animals have captured our imagination. Have you ever spotted an aardvark character in your favorite media?

15. Conservation Concerns

Protecting the Earth Pigs

While aardvarks are not currently considered endangered, they face threats from habitat loss and hunting. Conservation efforts are crucial to ensure these fascinating creatures continue to thrive in their natural habitats.


From their unique physical features to their important role in their ecosystems, aardvarks are truly remarkable animals. These 15 fun facts barely scratch the surface of what makes these creatures so fascinating. The next time you think about African wildlife, don’t forget about the humble aardvark – nature’s own little oddball that’s full of surprises!


  1. Q: Can aardvarks be kept as pets?
    A: No, aardvarks are wild animals and are not suitable as pets. They have specific dietary needs and require large spaces to dig and forage, which can’t be provided in a domestic setting.
  2. Q: Do aardvarks hibernate?
    A: Aardvarks don’t hibernate in the traditional sense. However, they may become less active during extreme weather conditions, staying in their burrows for extended periods.
  3. Q: Are aardvarks related to anteaters?
    A: Despite their similar diets, aardvarks are not closely related to anteaters. They belong to different orders – aardvarks are in the order Tubulidentata, while anteaters are in the order Pilosa.
0 %
0 %
0 %
0 %
0 %
0 %
Previous post 25 Fascinating Cat Fun Facts That Will Amaze You
Next post 15 Fascinating Albatross Fun Facts You Didn’t Know