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The aardvark

26 November 2015

 

The aardvark Orycteropus afer is a member of the Superorder Afrotheria which means that as did the African elephant, hyraxes, dugong, elephant shrew, golden mole and the tenrec (a type of hedgehog in Madagascar) it developed in Africa. Orycteropus is one of four genera in the Order Tubulidentata, three of those being extinct of which Plesiorycteropus madagascariensis of Madagascar is an aberrant form. A fossil form of the aardvark Orycteropus mauritanicus that is 2 million years old has been found in Algeria, North Africa and Myorycteropus africanus once lived in Kenya but it is poorly known as a few bones only. Only one species is currently alive and genetically the aardvark is a living fossil like the coelacanth. The fossil genus Leptorycteropus was not specialized to eats ants and termites and was probably omnivorous.

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The name Tubulidentata refers to the tubule type of teeth of the members of this mammal order which is first known from fossils in Kenya where it lived 55 to 34 million... (Become a subscriber for more)

 

References:

Anon 2015. Aardvark https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Aardvark&oldid=688968659. Accessed 6 November 2015.

Skinner, J D & C T Chimimba (Eds) 2005. The mammals of the southern African subregion, third edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp 35 - 40.

 

article by Prof J du P Bothma

 

 

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