Thursday, July 26, 2012
Baby Aardvark - Precious
Aardvarks, which are sometimes mistaken for "anteaters" are mostly nocturnal animals that use their feet and long claws to dig up insects such as termites.
It is sometimes colloquially called "antbear","anteater", or the "Cape anteater" after the Cape of Good Hope. The name comes from earlier Afrikaans and means "earth pig" or "ground pig" (aarde earth/ground, varken pig), because of its burrowing habits(similar origin to the name groundhog). The aardvark is not closely related to the pig; rather, it is the sole recent representative of the obscure mammalian order Tubulidentata, in which it is usually considered to form one variable species of the genus Orycteropus, the sole surviving genus in the family Orycteropodidae. The aardvark is not closely related to the South American anteater, despite sharing some characteristics and a superficial resemblance.The closest living relatives of the aardvark are the elephant shrews, along with the sirenians, hyraxes, tenrecs, and elephants. With their extinct relatives, these animals form the superorder Afrotheria. The scientific name of the aardvark comes from Greek ορυκτερόπους (orykterópous) meaning "digging footed" and afer: from Africa.