Aardvark is the first noun in my best-thumbed dictionary, but I have rather a soft-spot for long-snouted mammals in general. Unlike most of the others, though, the aardvark (Orycteropus afer) is the only modern species in the family Orycteropodidae. Aardvarks range throughout almost all of sub-Saharan Africa down to the southernmost areas of South Africa, and can be found in a variety of habitats and heights above sea level. Perhaps because of this they aren’t considered endangered or threatened, but aren’t easily counted either.
I’d had vague plans of getting out of the office to photograph aardvarks for this post, but Marwell Wildlife has a complete lack of them, so original illustrations will have to wait for one of my next trips to London. National Geographic has a good image of one here, or you can find a selection of pictures on the African Wildlife Foundation’s page here.
So, this week’s noun turned out rather challenging. Next week, I shall write about bumblebees.