Who are tubulidentata or aardvarks? What are tubulidentata characteristics? Where do they live? Brief facts of these incredible animals are already gathered here! Check it up!
The African savannah has become home for the animal with the body of anteater, rabbit ears, snout and kangaroo’s tail. Locals call it the aardvark or tubulidentata, which translates as ‘land pig’. In the scientific world, this animal has a certain name - aardvark. Check up the most interesting tubulidentata facts:
1. These animals are the inhabitants of the African continent are spread almost all over sub-Saharan Africa, except the jungle in the central part of Africa. You will not meet them on north. They all died out. Aardvarks prefer savanna with loose soil, which is ideal for their digging.
2. These mammals are the only representatives of aardvarks’ squad. They received this name because of the special structure of molars in adults, which are composed of fused dentinal tubules. They have 20 teeth. They grow throughout their lives, even though they do not have any roots or enamel. The canines and incisors are observed only at youth. Like anteaters, these animals have a keen sense of smell that helps them looking for food.
3. Its second name – ‘land pig’ - it got a great fame thanks to its digger and ‘piglet’ trim at the end of the elongated muzzle. Within 5 minutes it can dig a hole depth of about 1 meter. Although it has average height. Body length ranges from 140-230 cm (together with a powerful tail). Females are smaller than males. Powerful claws are located on the legs; they are similar to the hoof. Using its strong front limbs, they do not just dig a hole, but also break through the solid wall of the mound easily.
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4. They are nocturnal animals. During the day they often sit in their burrows and emerge to bask in the sun. Apart from the common burrow, which can reach 13 meters in length and ends with a large chamber, they also dig temporary burrows. They usually rest there during the day.
5. Aardvarks go in search of food after sunset. Their diet consists of ants and termites, so they make their homes close to their location. Aardvarks bypass their tenures about once a week. Sometimes the mileage of such trips may be 8-12 kilometers. Using their acute sense of smell, they seek out the underground path looking for termites and ants, and start digging a hole diameter of which is 30-40 centimeters.
Insects are ‘caught’ by a long rolling tongue length of which is 20-30 centimeters. Aardvark can eat up to 50 thousand termites at once. Thick skin protects them from painful bites. The animal may even quietly go to sleep right on this anthill.
6. Whether it eats termites or ants most often it depends on the season: during the wet season it prefers termites, dry - ants. Apart from this food aardvark can also have a meal of locusts and larvae of beetles.
7. This animal is quite slow and timid. In case of danger they are immediately trying to hide in a hole, but if this is not possible, they use their powerful forelimbs. In this way they protect from hyenas - their main enemies after humans, lions, cheetahs and other big cats.
8. Females give birth to one calf, very rarely - two. Pregnancy lasts 7 months. Newborns of tubulidentata (aardvarks) are large enough. Their weight comes to 2 kilograms and a length of 55 centimeters. They are born with the already developed claws. Females fed their ‘kids’ with milk up to 16 weeks, at 14 weeks they can eat on their own, for example ants. A year later, the young aardvarks already look like adults, but puberty comes only, when they are two years old.
All this tubulidentata characteristics make this animal extremely interesting. However, they are rarely met by people, as they are really afraid of them. But if you are lucky enough to meet such an extraordinary creature, do not try to touch it, it may scare an animal. Just observe and enjoy!
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