Aardvark, an insect-eating mammal native to Africa south of the Sahara and Sudan. The aardvark is from 3 to 5 feet long and weighs from 110 to 154 pounds. It has a massive body covered with a thick skin and sandycolored, bristly hair. It has an elongated head, large ears, and a piglike sııout. its long, slimy tongue is used to gather up the ants and termites on which it feeds.
The aardvark’s legs are short and powerful, and its feet have blunt claws that are used to burrow and to open the hills of ants and termites. its tail is thick and muscular.
The aardvark sleeps during the day and hunts at night. It is a rapid burrower and lives in dens about 10 feet long, which it digs. A shy, slow-moving animal with extremely acute hearing, it seeks its burrow at the least provocation. The flesh of the aardvark is eaten by some African tribes, and its hide is used to make bracelets and other articles.
The aardvark belongs to the genus Orycteropus, which is the sole member of the order Tubulidentata. There is only one species, Orycteropus afer.