Tubulidentata is the smallest living order of mammals. It contains a single living species, the Aardvark (Orycteropus afer). The ordinal name, Tubulidentata, refers to the unique structure of the teeth (numerous hexagonal prisms of dentine surrounding tubular pulp cavities). The common name, Aardvark, is an Afrikaner term meaning "earth hog", since these animals are somewhat piglike in appearance. The digits terminate in structures that are intermediate between claws and hoofs. These are adapted for burrowing and tearing open termite mounds. Aardvarks have long extensible tongues. They feed upon termites and other insects, but they also feed on plant materials. The limbs are plantigrade with four manual and five pedal digits. The skin is thick with sparse bristlelike hairs. The aardvark is now considered to be the most primitive living protoungulate. It is probably more closely related to elephants, hyraxes and sirenians, than with any other living order of mammal.

Our collections do not contain specimens from Tubulidentata.

Family Orycteropodidae


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