Aardvark

Orycteropus afer

Classifacation

  • Domain Eukarya: This domain is made up of organisms that are either single-cell or muti-cellular with a nucleolus in each cell.
  • Kingdom Animailia: This kingdom is made up of organisms that get there energy from eating other organisms, which makes them hedoratrophic creatures. They are multi-cellular, have complex bodies, and are capable of movement and reproduction.
  • Phylum Chordata: This group of organisms have bilateral symmetry, a notochord (stiff rod that extends for the length of the body), and a complete digestive system.
  • Subphylum Vertebrata: This group contains organisms that have a backbone, as well as arms and legs. They have an endoskeleton, which means they have a skeleton on the inside of their body, and they have muscles attached so they can move.
  • Class Mammalia: This group contains organisms that all have hair at some point in their lives with no exceptions, and have various types of teeth. The have the ability to produce milk for their young. They also have at least one protective layer on the exterior of their body.
  • Order Tubulidentata: This group only consists of the aardvark.
  • Family Orycteropodidae: This group only contains the aardvark.
  • Genus Orycteropus: This genus only includes the aardvark.
  • Species: Orycteropus afer

General Description

  • Length: The average length of an aardvark is 3-4 feet long.
  • Weight: The average weight of an Aardvark is 90-140 pounds.
  • Color: The aardvark has a yellowish gray color.
  • Natural Range: The aardvark lives in the sub-Saharan area of Africa.
  • Diet: Aardvarks eat termites, ants, and some fruits.
  • Habitat Description: The aardvark's habitat is a large grassland savanna with little flooding and an ample food supply.
  • Predators: The predators of the aardvark include humans, lions, hyenas, and leopards.

Physical Adaptions

Aardvarks have long and sharp claws that are used for digging. This helps aardvarks to escape predators. It has a powerful tail to prop itself when digging, which allows it to dig faster and more easily. They have very long tongues. This helps because aardvarks use their tongues to fish out ants from the anthills. They have an amazing sense of smell. This helps them find ants and termites to eat. Their large ears give them an incredible sense of hearing, which also helps them find food and escape predators.

Behavioral Adaptations

Aardvarks are expert diggers. This is the key to the aardvark's way of life. They dig to find food and escape predators. They also create underground homes for protection. Aardvarks can also defend themselves by lashing out their claws and legs. Aardvarks also eat at night which makes them nocturnal. This helps because they can avoid some predators. Aardvarks also will cover a distance of 2-5 kilometers to find food. This helps them because it gives them a greater selection of food sources.

References

Aardvark. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://ladywildlife.com/animals/aardvark.html



Aardvark. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.czs.org/Brookfield-ZOO/Zoo-Animals/Habitat-Africa!-The-Savannah/Aardvark.aspx



An aardvark. they are still found widely in africa and are not an endangered species. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.willemsplanet.com/2013/04/22/monday-an-aardvark-for-earth-day/

Aardvark tongue2. (n.d.). Retrieved March 25, 2015, from http://pixgood.com/aardvark-tongue.html


annual rainfall. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.catsg.org/cheetah/07_map-centre/7_1_entire-range/thematic-maps/annual_rainfall_Africa.gif


Average temperature in sub-saharan africa. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://sites.google.com/site/revealingmodernityinafrica/averagetemperatureinssafrica


Burton, M., & Burton, R. (2002). Aardvark. In International wildlife encyclopedia v.1 (AAR-BAR) (3rd ed., Vol. 1, pp. 16-17). New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish


The life and times of the last earthpig. (n.d.). Retrieved March 25, 2015, from http://questionableevolution.com/2013/02/06/the-life-and-times-of-the-last-earthpig


Ratzloff, E. 2011. "Orycteropus afer" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed March 12, 2015 at http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Orycteropus_afer/