Order Tubulidentata


The Tubulidentata needs to be mentioned only briefly. The sole living species, the Aardvark (family Orycteropodidae, Orycteropus afer), occurs only in Africa south of the Sahara. Feeding on ants and termites, the Aardvark has many of the convergent characteristics commonly seen in taxa making their living in this way: powerful forelimbs, protrusible tongue, and reduced dentition. Adult dentition is 0/0, 0/0, 2/2, 3/2=18 and the teeth are unique among mammals. Each is rootless with up to some 1500 hexagonal prisms; in the center of each prism is a slender, tubular pulp cavity; these teeth give the order its name. Aardvarks are large creatures, adults weighing up to over 80 kg.

Pictures and further information is available at the Animal Diversity Web site.


Last Update: 19 Jan 2008

Centennial Museum and Department of Biological Sciences, The University of Texas at El Paso