Sunday, June 17, 2018

Yekaterinburg host to first aardvarks born in Russia

The Yekaterinburg Zoo is host to the first aardvarks born in Russia, representing the only zoo in the nation to host the rare, odd-looking creatures.

The aardvark has the tail of a kangaroo, the snout of a pig, the ears of a rabbit and the body of an anteater. There are only approximately 90 aardvarks that live in captivity throughout the world, RIA Novosti reports.

The aardvark's classification comes from a unique tooth structure that is composed of clusters of vasodentin tubes without roots or enamel. These odd teeth grow throughout the aardvark's lifetime. The animal is the only representative of the Tubulidentata order. Aardvarks typically live in African savannas.

The name aardvark means ground pig. Aardvarks are excellent diggers and have a strange disk at the end of their elongated snouts. An aardvark needs just five minutes to dig a hole one meter deep. The body of an aardvark is on average between 100 and 150 centimeters long, 65 centimeters tall at the shoulder and can weigh up to 80 kilograms. The front paws of an aardvark have four fingers each with big claws and its rear paws have five fingers on each paw.

Attendants at the zoo hope to breed more aardvarks so that they can deliver them to other zoos throughout Russia.