AARD-VARK (meaning ``earth pig''), the Iyutch name for
the mammals of genus Orycteropus, confined to AfricA?
EDEN-TATAI. Several species have been named. Among them
is the typical form, O. capensis, or Cape ant-bear from
, and the northern aard-vark (O. aethiopicus)
of north-eastern Africa, extending into EgypT?
. In form
these animals are somewhat pig-like; the body is stout,
with arched back; the limbs are short and stout, armed with
strong, blunt claws; the ears disproportionately long; and
the tail very thick at the base and tapering gradually. The
greatly elongated head is set on a short thick neck, and at
the extremity of the snout is a disk in which the nostrils
open. The mouth is small and tubular, furnished with a long
extensile tongue. The measurements of a female taken in the
flesh, were head and body 4 ft., tail 17 1/2 in.; but a large
individual measured 6 ft. 8 in. over all. In colour the
Cape aard-vark is pale sandy or yellow, the hair being scanty
and allowing the skin to show; the northern aard-vark has
a still thinner coat, and is further distinguished by the
shorter tail and longer head and ears. These animals are of
nocturnal and burrowing habits, and generally to be found near
ant-hills. The strong claws make a hole in the side of the
ant-hill, and the insects are collected on the extensile
tongue. Aard-varks are hunted for their skins; but the
flesh is valued for food, and often salted and smoked.
Source: An unnamed encyclopedia from a project that puts out-of-copyright texts into the public domain.
This is from a *very* old source, and reflects the thinking of the turn of the last century. Not entirely true, since aardvarks eat termites, not ants.