Sunday Sketch: Get Ready for Aardvark Week

Aardvarks, Orycteropusafer afer, are ant eaters but aren’t anteaters. In other words, Aardvarks in Africa do primarily feed on ants and termites but actually aren’t very closely related to their anteater counterparts in South America. Many of their similarities arise due to convergent evolution associated with their diets. Aardvarks use their long, sticky tongue to feed on delicious little insects. The stickiness comes from large salary glands that douse their tongue in saliva. The fancy science word to describe the shape of their tongue is “vermiform”, which also describes my funky dance moves and favorite shape for gummy candies: worm-like.

Sketch contributed by Karli Chudeau. Fact by Adrian Perez

Source: Taylor, W.A. and Skinner, J.D., 2004. Adaptations of the aardvark for survival in the Karoo: a review. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa59(2), pp.105-108.

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