Many people confuse anteaters and aardvarks, two similar creatures that enjoy eating termites and ants. These animals share long faces, great diggers, and a certain look that has caused some to call them the “earth pig.” However, these two mammals are not related and live on different continents.
Anteater vs aardvark, or Orycteropus afer, are native to Africa and are the only living species in the mammalian order Tubulidentata. They are known to be a bit like a misformed pig, especially with their long, bushy fur and comically large ears. The long, disc-like snout is what makes people believe that the aardvark looks like a pig, but it is used for sniffing out ant and termite nests.
Nose to Tail: A Comparative Guide to Anteaters and Aardvarks
Like the aardvark, the anteater has a wide range of behavioral adaptations that help it survive. They are omnivores and have been able to survive in different habitats, but they have evolved into specialists when it comes to feeding on ants and termites. Their long tongues and digging behavior help them to extract these insects from their nests. This specific adaptation is known as myrmecophagy.
If these two animals were to meet on the field of battle, it would be a tough fight. The anteater, with its bear-like sharp claws and bushy fur can defend itself well. However, if you were to compare the strength of each animal in terms of weight and size, the aardvark has an advantage. It is a bit heavier and stronger than the anteater, so it might be able to take out the ant-eater in a one-on-one fight.