Oricteropus

Orycteropus afer

Common name

Oricteropus

Habitat

Open savannah, semi-arid areas and forest clearings; generally in sandy or clay soils where it is easy to dig and in places where there is a great abundance of ants and termites.
Features

Family

Orycteropodidae

Medals

Tubulidentata

Class

Mammalia

Gestation

243 days.

Number of offspring

1 and rarely 2.

Preproduction

ESB

Diet

Ants, termites and occasionally insect larvae (mainly beetles).

Life

18 years.

Biology and behavior

The oricteropo, also known as the aardvark, is one of the most powerful burrowing mammals that exists, being able to dig in its territory of 2-5 km2 burrows up to 10 m long. It has powerful shovel-shaped claws with which it will dig several burrows throughout its life. In the process, it folds its ears back to keep dirt out, using its hind legs and tail to expel excess dirt.

They are normally solitary animals, females are usually accompanied by one or two juveniles. In areas where oricteropos are abundant, several individuals may share a burrow.

The male's genitals secrete musk and both sexes have glandular areas on the elbows and hips. They are probably useful for detecting the presence of other individuals and during the breeding season. It has not been observed that these glands are used for territorial marking.

The oricteropus is nocturnal, leaving the burrow at dusk in search of food. It moves in a zigzag pattern with its snout close to the ground, using its powerful senses of smell and hearing to locate its prey. Once the area with the highest density of individuals is detected, it will dig very quickly and insert its long and sticky tongue through the dug hole. The prey will remain stuck to the tongue, and ingested by the oricteropus, which does not seem to be bothered by the insect bites.

Some
curiosities

The oricteropo is the only living representative of the order Tubulidentata, characterized by a dental structure unique to mammals: teeth without roots, composed of tubular structures of dentin that are cemented together forming hexagonal prisms covered again by dentin.

It takes three men digging to reach the working speed of the oricterope.

When an oricterope leaves its burrow, it can be occupied by other animals such as the hyena or the warthog.

African savanna
Wetlands
africans
Habitats
Equatorial jungle
Madagascar Island