Naturalis Biodiversity Center

Naturalis Biodiversity Center

The aardvark is a superb digger. It eats termites and therefore needs to break open the strong termite hills. Its front and hind paws have large claws. The aardvark uses these to make a hole in the hill. As soon as the termites realize that they are being attacked the soldier termites are sent to the hole. These termites can give a nasty bite even through the thick skin of the aardvark's snout. With its 45-centimeter-long sticky tongue the aardvark slurps up few termites, so he can revisit the same termite hill multiple times to feed. To minimize the number of times it is bitten by the termites, the aardvark wants to remove its nose from the hill as quickly as possible.

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  • Title: Aardvark
  • Location: Africa, south of the Sahara
  • Rights: Photo's by Sabine Verdoorn / Naturalis Biodiversity Center / CC-BY 4.0
  • Wetenschappelijke naam: Orycteropus afer
  • Registratienummer : NNP.004968
  • Meer informatie: http://www.natuurinformatie.nl/ndb.wnf/natuurdatabase.nl/i000512.html
  • Lengte: Body: 1.6 m Tail: 55 cm
  • Klasse: Mammal
  • Gewicht: 38 - 65 kg
  • Eetgewoontes: Termintes, ants and fruit.


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