Friday, March 6, 2009

Dictionary Days - A for Aardvark

Okay, this is how it goes. I love reading about things that no one ever thinks about and are really random. You know, trivia question topics. So every other Friday I am going to have a dictionary day. I will take the first noun of the letter of that week. I will start with A the first week, then move on to B the next. Once I get to Z, I will go back to A and choose the 2nd noun. This way, it is not a lot of A's, and i never get to any of the other letters, let alone B. I mean, do you KNOW how many A-nouns there are? Any way, to start off with, since A is first, the topic will be... Aardvark! I know, what an awkward way to start this off, but it was first noun, and I just couldn't bear to skip it.

To start off, a brief summary of an aardvark that I took from the Webster's Dictionary:

n. animal resembling the ant-eater, found in parts of Africa

As I was looking for pictures to put up, I realized how ugly they actually were. In the cartoons that you always see aardvarks in, you cannot tell, but in real life pictures they are not at all like the typical pet.

Aardvarks are very interesting even though they are not that appealing, because they are so unique. They are nocturnal animals, and in some places are called "earth pigs", even though they are not related to them at all. Actually, elephants are more closely related to them than pigs.

The most common characteristic of an aardvark is its teeth. Instead of growing more developed teeth as they grow up as humans, and mostly other animals do, they are born with canines and then lose them only to get replaced with cheek teeth as an adult.

The aardvark's appearance is what makes it different. It has an arched back covered with coarse hairs. Their front feet unfortunately do not have any thumbs. Their back feet got spared
the humiliation and have a full count of five toes. Each toe has a flat nail that acts like a shovel and is "classified" between a claw and a hoof. Their ears are long and they have thick tails at the base and eventually tapering to the tip. A long snout, nostrils, and their small mouth with a tongue that helps their sense of smell are mounted on their short neck which makes up the head. Aardvarks are actually a yellowish-gray, but the soil stains their thin tough coat to a more common reddish-brown.

Shortly after sunset, aardvarks leave their home and go in search of food. They swing their long snout from side to side trying to pick up a scent of any ants or termites. Then they dig into the ground and lick up the insects with its sticky tongue. Any bites from termites or stings from the ants do not hurt the aardvark in its quest for food. Their tough tongue prevents any injuries. Awfully fast they dig, but overall, aardvarks are very slow movers. Ants and termites are the main course for this animal, but aardvarks also eat a fruit called the aardvark cucumber, which is pictured on the left.

Moving from place to place is slow going, but the aardvark is not satisfied easily with its home. On a regular basis, they move out of their burrow and make a new one to accommodate their eating habits.


Noel De Vries said...

You're alive!

Maggie DeVries said...

Well I've thought through some stuff and I don't think I will have anymore "dry" spots on blogging anymore.

cuileann said...

Aw, well I think they're kind of cute...:)

Christy said...

Wow there's life in you. I was starting to get worried!