The first word in the English dictionary is Aardvark. A charming mammal that looks like they were made from parts of other animals.
Aardvarks are nocturnal burrowing animals that are found throughout Africa, south of the Sahara. The aardvark’s body and long snout look a bit like a pig and their name comes from South Africa’s Afrikaans language and means “earth pig.” This keystone species has a kangaroo tail and long rabbitlike ears. It has a very long tongue, 30 cm, which it uses to lick up ants and termites. And its closest relative may come as a big surprise since it is the elephant!
A keystone species has a large effect on its natural environment. Other keystone species are, for example, elephants, whales, and wolves. The aardvark uses its sharp claws and powerful legs to dig out the hills. It also digs to make burrows where they live and raise their young. They can dig very fast, 0. 6 m in 15 seconds. Other animals like African wild dogs take over the olds burrows after the aardvark. So they play an important part in the exosystem.
Aardvarks are also spreading seeds from a plant called Aardvark cucumber or Aardvark pumpkin. The plants rely on the aardvark to eat the fruit in order to spread and re-bury the seeds of the plant. The plant is a rare type of plant that flowers underground, just like a peanut. The fruits are first developing above the ground on stalks. The stalks bend and are pushed back under the ground. The aardvark eats the plant to get water.
My main question after having watched the videos below is why the aardvark snuffles in its sleep. What do you think?
Fiction and non-fiction books about aardvarks
Have you read any of the books about Arthur? He is a famous aardvark character. Oi Aardvark is another awesome book featuring aardvarks.