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Orycteropus afer

Posted 9/14/2016

This is a page about the aardvark. Well, maybe not so much! Actually this is a page that is designed to test search engines to see if they are designed to tell the difference between real information and gibberish. I am going to write a lot of paragraphs or sentences herein with the word aardvark and other aardvark related words, like animal, mammal, habitat, genus, ecology, etc., and see if I can fool them into thinking that this really is a page with useful information about aardvarks. I will be back after a few days, or maybe a week or two, to see if this page comes up when I do a search for aardvark. Of course, you can do the same thing. If you found this page because you were searching for the work aardvark, then it looks like I have been successful, doesn't it?

The aardvark is an animal. I have to be careful. I don't want to put too much actual information in here, but guess that statement didn't surprise anyone. I would even go so far as to say that the aardvark is a mammal, particularly since I put Mammals as the category at the top of the page. It is also wildlife. You can probably learn a lot about aardvarks and other mammals by going to a page such as Wikipedia or National Geographic. I don't know if putting those links in there will help my cause or not, but I figure it won't hurt. It would be more helpful for other sites to link to this page, but who would be foolish enough to do that? Of course, if you wish to do so just to help me out, that would be great!

This is not an aardvark!! However, I have labelled it aardvark in the
computer code to see if I can fool them. Everything helps you know!

So let's talk about aardvarks. They are interesting critters. Hmmm, that word probably isn't going to help me. Let's see ... aardvarks are an interesting species. How about that? Yes, species are good to talk about on a page like this. A species is a good thing. And aardvark are a species. And they have subspecies. Now let me steal a few phrases from those other pages, such as "African ant bear", "ground pig", and "earth pig". These are other names for aardvark, it seems. The genus name, Orycteropus apparently means burrowing foot. Isn't that interesting? Oh, but I am giving too much actual information here. I will have to be much more vague and elusive, but using all the right words, like animal, mammal, ants, fur, diet, habitat, and other things like that. So let's talk about some of these things individually.


Aardvarks eat. Amazing, isn't it? They have a diet. I suppose that the fact that they are referred to as ant-eaters says something about their diet. I suppose they might eat termites as well. They like foraging. This gives them a good diet - well, good for aardvarks anyway. Animals that eat insects are called insectivores. If ants are insects, then this would make aardvarks insectivores. Do you think aardvarks are insectivores? Do you think they are carnivorous? Naah, probably not.


Aardvarks have a habitat. A habitat is a thing like savannas, grasslands, woodlands and bushland. This is where they live - in a habitat. Aardvarks live in burrows. I am getting dangerously close to giving out real information here, but let's go on. Burrows are underground. They excavate their burrows. That's where aardvarks have their habitat. It's a nice habitat - if you're an aardvark. Might not be a good habitat for other mammals. Aardvarks have a certain range. They live in a terrain. They inhabit ecosystems. These are all good words to put in here. Oh, don't forget landscape, environment and niche. Those are important words, too.


Some people think the aardvark is like a pig, but that doesn't make it so. Apparently they have something to do with something called Tubulidentata, a mammalian order. (Is that like an order in a restaurant?) I hear its family is called Orycteropodidae. I bet it's a happy family. I hope they share meals together. Another similar animal (a mammal, mind you) is called the South American anteater. I'll let you decide if you think they are closely related. They share some characteristics and a superficial resemblance. Some might say this is due to convergent evolution. And aardvarks have relatives, things like elephant shrews, tenrecs and golden moles. They also had extinct relatives. Poor things! I hear these all form the superorder Afrotheria. Yeah, that's one big order. Did you order those?

Evolutionary history

Aardvarks have an evolutionary history. That means they have lived on earth for millions of years. They even have fossils. They have early relatives and late relatives. The descended from ancestors. Molecular evidence could confirm this.


As animals, aardvarks have a head. They also have a tail. In between, they have lots of other parts, like legs (rear legs and forelegs), stomach, back, and such. The head has eyes and ears. The eyes have eyesight and the ears have hearing. I don't know if their hearing and eyesight are very acute or not, but they have them. Aardvarks have a mouth. That means they probably have teeth. They have a nose, with nostrils for breathing. Actually they have a very long snout. Funny-looking things! They have brains I bet, but I'm guessing they are stupid things. I read that aardvarks are either digitigrade or plantigrade, whatever the heck that means. Their feet have claw-like nails. Aardvarks have a weight and a length and a height at the shoulder. They have a color; it could be yellowish-gray, or reddish-brown, or something else... Aardvarks have skin and hair. Along with a stomach they have a whole digestive system, with a tongue, gizzard, cecum, anus, glands - the whole works! Females even have teats. They have anatomical characteristics.


Aardvarks reproduce. That means they make little aardvarks. They probably do this sexually, but I have never watched. They breed in breeding season and have a gestation period of some amount of time. They have cubs which nurse and grow up to be sexually mature and make even more of the damned critters (that is, mammals). Reproduction takes place between males and females. They use their sexual organs for this. They have genetics and chromosomes.


Aardvark conservation is of concern. They come in numbers, and numbers could be declining, or they could be stable. They also come in populations. These are individuals who are evolutionarily similar. Conservation efforts should help populations of aardvarks. If we conserve aardvarks it makes for more biodiversity. That's a great word to throw in here don't you think - biodiversity? That means lots of different species in lots of different ecosystems in lots of different biomes. What does that have to do with the aardvark? I don't know, but with lots of aardvarks and biomes and ecosystems and biodiversity and other stuff like that we are better off, don't you think? At least my page is better off if it talks about aardvarks and biomes and ecosystems and biodiversity and mentions these things over and over. So let's keep talking about aardvarks and biomes and ecosystems and biodiversity and things like that.


So let's talk about ecology. Aardvarks have ecology. Aardvarks have an ecological niche. They have predators which they don't like. Of course, they love their own prey. (Those would be ants.) They can run and dig. They can fight their enemies. (Those would be the predators.) Predators and prey and niche all have to do with ecology. Oh, and let's throw in the word environment here, too, just for fun.


Aardvarks exhibit behavior. Behavior can be beneficial or detrimental. They exhibit nocturnal behavior. They vocalize. They have movement. They could be swimming. Aardvarks' behavior allows them to inhabit their habitat. Remember habitat? That's where they inhabit. Behavior helps them inhabit. Whether they run or fly or crawl or eat or smile or have sex, it is all behavior. Aardvarks have behavior.


Aardvarks are animals that inhabit habitat. They have behavior which allows them to reproduce and enjoy their ecology. Their diet is part of their behavior. The taxonomy and evolutionary history of aardvarks are wrapped up in their physiology, or is it that their physiology that is wrapped up in their evolutionary history? However it is, these aardvarks are queer animals, but talking about them and using all these nice aardvark-related words might get this page up in the search results. Think so?

Let's finish up with a nice poem:

The aardvark is an unusual beast
On termites and ants and such food does it feast.
Orycteropus afer is its biological name.
It's in the taxon Tubulidefita, so they claim.

It lives in a habitat and digs underground.
It sees with its eyes. With its ears it hears sound.
It burrows deep down into rocky terrain
And hopes that its predators will seek it in vain.

An insectivore is how this mammal eats
As long as it predators' intentions it defeats.
Aardvark's evolved over millions of years.
That's how they got their feet, toes and ears.

Aardvarks are born as female and male.
Either sex has a head and a tail,
And a stomach, four legs, a back, skin, and hair,
And gonads to use when in burrows they pair.