One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A nocturnal badger-sized burrowing mammal of Africa, with long ears, a tubular snout, and a long extensible tongue, feeding on ants and termites.
Orycteropus afer, the only member of the family Orycteropidae and order TubulidentataAlso called antbear
- ‘All the animals had gathered there - giraffes, hippos, antelope, buffalo, warthogs, zebras, aardvarks, hyenas, mongooses, storks and weaver birds.’
- ‘If the soil is too hard, aardvarks will move to areas where the digging is easier.’
- ‘Like a little aardvark discovering a termite mound, her tiny nose twitched ecstatically.’
- ‘They also sometimes roost in the burrows of other mammals such as hedgehogs, porcupines, and aardvarks.’
- ‘Local school children have been involved in making masks for the 50 animals, from aardvarks to zebras.’
- ‘I'm off now to look up Dallas Zoo on the internet, and find out if they have aardvarks.’
- ‘Aardvarks can travel as far as 16 km a night, visiting termite mounds.’
- ‘An aardvark's tear membrane protects its eyes against termite bites.’
- ‘Also, the aardvark is reported to eat wild cucumbers in addition to ants and termites.’
- ‘David's light caught the long-eared hump-backed shape of an aardvark, lumbering ahead of us at a steady trot.’
Late 18th century: from South African Dutch, from aarde ‘earth’ + vark ‘pig’.
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