The aardvark (Orycteropus aferis) specialized to eat ants and termites. Sweeping its snout from side to side along

At the Cincinnati Zoo

the ground, the aardvark sniffs out an insect nest. It digs in with its shovel-shaped claws, and licks up the ants and termites with its long, sticky tongue. One aardvark eats more than 50,000 insects a night!


  • Length: 3.4 to 4.2 ft
  • Weight: 88 to 143 lbs
  • Lifespan: Up to 10 yrs in captivity
  • Range: Central and southern Africa
  • Habitat: Woodland, scrubland, and grassland
  • Diet: Ants and termites
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