Monday, June 20, 2011

Aardvark Afrikaans for "earth pig"

Aardvark (Afrikaans for "earth pig"), a mammal-eating semut.Aardvark can be found throughout Africa, from southern Egypt to the Cape of Good Hope. Aardvark is nocturnal animals (nocturnal), living in a hole and eat ants and termites, sometimes eat other insects and obese mice.
Aardvark length over 2.3 meters, including the body, and a pointy tail. Aardvark has a curved back, like a pipe and a big nose. His nails are shaped like chisels to destroy the termite nest is made of hard clay, and then he uses a sticky tongue to catch insects from the nest. Unlike other ant-eating animals are usually not toothed, Aardvark has 20 teeth cylinder that will continue to grow during his life.
The female will give birth once or sometimes twice per delivery. Aardvark Children can dig your own hole when I was 6 months. Even Aardvark including animals shy, he will fight when he can not escape or dig to escape, using the power of his opponent with a fingernail or wag his tail.

Aardvark means 'earth-pig' in Afrikaans. They are very secretive animals so very little is known about their way of life. They are active by night, and have been shown by the use of radio collars to travel up to 30km in a night. They live alone, except for females with young, in burrows 3-4 metres long, with a sleeping chamber at the far end which is large enough to allow them to turn around easily.

They are clean animals, and small pits are dug around the burrow for their droppings. When full, these are covered over with earth. Each animal will have several burrows, some of which are just shelters from bad weather, or bolt-holes to protect them from predators. Larger sites are used for breeding, and these may have a number of large chambers which can be up to 13 metres long and can be reached via several entrances.

Aardvarks forage for food only at night. They have bad eyesight, but have excellent senses of smell and hearing, which they use to help find termite nests. They walk in zigzags, sniffing the ground and pointing their ears forwards. Once a nest has been located, aardvarks are ideally equipped for breaking in. They have long, spoon-shaped claws and powerful forelimbs ideally adapted to burrowing into termite mounds and can penetrate nests which could not be broken through by a man using a pickaxe. There are four claws on each front foot and five on each back foot.

When the nest has been broken into, the aardvark can probe the hole with its snout. The snout is long, and is protected from dust by a fringe of rough bristles. The nostrils close up when the aardvark is burrowing. Aardvarks have thin and sticky tongues up to 45cm long. They are ideal for feeding on ants or termites swarming through a hole in their nest.

Little is known about the aardvark's breeding habits because of its secretive lifestyle. We do know though that their gestation lasts for seven months, and that the young are born just before or during the rainy season, when food is most plentiful. At birth, young aardvarks weigh about 2kg, and after about two weeks, they are able to go with their mothers on foraging trips. They remain with them for about six months, by which time young aardvarks are capable of digging their own burrows, though they may still remain with their mothers for a little while longer.

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