The aardvark vs anteater are two of the most fascinating animals in the animal kingdom. Despite being unrelated and living continents apart, they have convergently developed similar characteristics in response to their shared diet of ants and termites. The aardvark’s long snout and the anteater’s long tongue are just a couple of examples of these similarities. Read on to discover more about these curious creatures and their unique habitats.
Aardvarks are named after the Afrikaans word for “earth pig.” They look quite a bit like a pig and have coarse, yellowish-brown fur. Their tails are up to two feet long and they have limbs adapted for digging, with strong shovel-like claws that are between true nails and hooves in shape. Their long, narrow nose is a key to their success in the wild. It is used to break open ant hills and termite mounds so that they can feed on the insects inside.
Nose to Snout: The Aardvark vs. Anteater Showdown
They live throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, mainly in grasslands and woodlands, but also in swamp forests. They are adept diggers and can create burrows up to 30 feet long. They are solitary animals, except when breeding. They have a habit of entering and exiting their burrows headfirst, so they can smell for predators as they do so.
Aardvarks have a gestation period of seven months and produce one offspring at a time. They remain with their mother for a year to learn essential survival skills before becoming independent.