Aardvark

The aardvark is an African animal that feeds on ants and termites.

The aardvark is one of Africa’s strangest creatures.   Its strange name comes from the old Dutch words meaning “earth pig.”  In some ways “earth Pig” is a good name, for its body is shaped much like a pig’s, and it spends most of the day curled up in its cool underground den.

But the aardvark is not like a pig in any other way.  An aardvark’s front feet are provided with powerful claws, which it uses to open termite and ant nests.

Then it pushes out its long tongue, which is like a flat, sticky worm more than a foot long.  It licks up the ants it  uncovers.  The ants stick to the aardvark’s sticky tongue as if it were flypaper, and the aardvark slurps the ants into its mouth.

Then it pokes its long tongue down into the winding tunnels to find more ants to eat.  It may eat many thousands of ants in one meal.

While it is eating, the aardvark’s thick, leathery skin protects it from the angry bites of the ants.

Although they look clumsy, aardvarks are not easy to catch, for in a few minutes they can dig a hole deep enough to escape from enemies. – Dick Rogers

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