First aardvark born in Russia

Moscow, April 4 (IANS/RIA Novosti) A zoo in Russia’s Yekaterinburg city has welcomed a new resident, a baby aardvark, the first such anteater-like animal to be born in Russia, the zoo reported on its website.

The little-studied aardvark, which means “ground pig” in Afrikaans, is the only representative of the order Tubulidentata. The aardvark owes its name to its unique tooth structure. In fact, its teeth are clusters of vasodentin tubes without enamel or roots.

A couple of aardvarks were brought to Yekaterinburg from Tanzania last spring. Later, other Russian zoos added these rare animals to their collections.

The new baby aardvark was born in February. “This is the first aardvark to be born in Russia,” the zoo said.

Aardvarks have the body of an anteater, the ears of a rabbit, the snout of a pig and the tail of a kangaroo. Their bodies are 100 to 150 cm long. They stand up to 65 cm tall at the shoulder and weigh up to 80 kg.

In total, only about 90 aardvarks live in zoos worldwide. Ten aardvarks were born in captivity over the past 50 years.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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