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These animals (Orycteropus afer) are often found foraging out in the open at night, systematically covering the ground in search of ants and termites. Aardvarks travel long distances in looking for food, often travelling 10km in a single night. Not surprisingly, given their long tubular ears and snout, they have acute hearing and a good sense of smell with which to detect their prey. They use their powerful front claws to dig open ant and termite nests, and their long sticky tongues to collect the insects. These animals have very thick skin, and seem to be immune to insect bites.

The aardvark's skin is so tough that it also saves it from bites by predators. Aardvarks are very well adapted for digging. When alarmed, they will either run away or start digging a burrow. A single aardvark can dig a hole faster than several people using shovels. Temporary aardvark burrows are less than 3m deep, with end chambers large enough for the animals to turn in. More permanent burrows can be 13m long with several chambers and entrances.

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ARKive photos and videos of the aardvark