Thursday 9 July 2009

Ethel the aardvark goes quantity surveying

OK us girls are reknown for getting soppy over baby pictures. But you have to admit that this little creature is absolutely adorable. There is no other reason for my posting this other than to embrace my inner maternal feelings and go "awwwww". I mean, just look at those ears and that wonderful soft snout.


Jon Downes said...

As soon as Corinna showed us this baby pic, Maxy and I started sqawking in baby talk. It is ridiculously cute

Syd said...

Wow, it bears such a strong resemblance to all human babies .... it's as ugly as hell.

Retrieverman said...

I love where these things fit in terms of their taxonomy. No relation to the Xenarthrans (armadillos, Latin American anteaters, sloths, and those giant sloths that I wish still lived around here. Thomas Jefferson hoped Lewis and Clark's expedition would find one!)

They are also not related to the pangolins, which are actually more closely related to Carnivora than any other animals of this type.

It turns out that aardvarks are close relatives of elephant shrews, which are also related to real elephants, sirenians (manatees, dugongs, and the Steller's sea cow), and hyraxes.

Historically, though, all of these animals were in the same order Edentata, which means "without teeth."

I have never seen even a photograph of a baby aardvark before. I bet it's happy that it precedes the aardwolf (a type of hyena, which is believed to be the missing link between hyenas and civets) in the dictionary.

Aard means "earth" in Afrikaans, and "vark" means hog. Wolf in Afrikaans means "wolf." It's also used in their word for brown hyenas, which are called "Strandwolf." Strand is the Dutch, Afrikaans, and German word for beach. It's basis for our word "stranded." Brown hyenas hang out along the coast waiting for things to wash up on the beach, and they also harry fur seal colonies. Literally, they are beach wolves, even though they aren't dogs or wolves at all.

C-E B said...

Bless!!!!!! I want one!


Rosel said...

So adorably ugly.