Difference between an aardvark and an anteater
Aardvark Vs anteater:
Although these two terms are often used interchangeably, aardvarks and anteaters are two different animals who are thus closely associated because of the similarities of their appearance. Yet, they are not related to each other in any way.
What is an aardvark?
A aardvark, scientifically known as Orycteropus afer is known as the only living species of the Tubulidentata mammalian order. Its scientific name probably gives away its origns as the term Orycteropus afer means the “earth pig” in African, which places its country of residence in Africa. Aardvarks have four toes, blunt snouts, which resembles one of a pig and big ears. They live underground, burrowing holes in the ground and are known as nocturnal creatures. An aardvark feed on ants and termites mostly.
What is an anteater?
A native of central and south America, the anteater lives in forests and is known to climb trees, using its long claws to hang from branches and climb up the trunks. It is characterized by its excess of hair, big bushy tail, long and pointed snout and a long tongue which can extend up to approximately 24 inches long which aids them in probing inside anthills and extracting ants by the hundreds by flicking of their tongues.
Anteaters are part of the order Pilosa, along with sloths. They are of four species which are namely the diminutive silky anteater of less than a foot long, the mid-sized northern, southern collared also known as the tamanduas to the giant anteater that grows to about 4 feet long.
What is the difference between anteater and aardvark?
Despite the differences aardvarks and anteaters do have certain things in common. Both thrive on an ant and a termite diet and both posess powerful olfactory senses, which allows them to sniff out anthills and temite mounds. Once found, they rip these mounds apart with their strong claws and start devouring the goodies inside at the same time, taking care to avoid attacks from soldier ants whose attacks could be quite dreadful.
While the anteaters are found primarily in Central and South America, the aardvarks are found in Africa. Also, while anteaters have a fairly large genetic tree, aardvarks do not. They are the only living species of the Tubulidentata mammalian order and are related to elephant shrew.
Anteaters and aardvarks differ in their physical appreence as well. While aardvarks are known as modified ungulates, or hoofed animals who bear claws on their forelimbs, anteaters are known for their paws with large claws which they tend up to keep protected, balled up in to fists. Anteaters also have more fur than aardvarks and while anteaters are known to climb trees, aardvarks prefer burrowing in the ground.
An aardvark possesses thin upright teeth that has no enamel which are prone to be worn out easily. And yet, theyare known to grow right back which makes it easy for the aardvark to hunt for ants and termites. Anteaters on the other hand, have no teeth. They are known to use their claws to rip apart anthills and hunt for food. Anteaters also have more fur than the aardvarks.