ORDER TUBULIDENTATA: THE AARDVARK
Only living member - the aardvark -
The postcranial skeleton is very unspecialised -
strong resemblance to some very early ungulates. The limbs have
undergone no elongation, and the hoove-like claws are modified a
little for burrowing.
The aardvark is nocturnal, resting in a burrow during
the day and foraging in termite mounds at night. Little else is known
about the aardvark.
The specialisation of the aardvark make it vulnerable
to changes in its termite food supply as a result of habitiat
disturbance.The aardvark is also at risk from hunting - some
indigeneous cultures use its hair and claws for medicinal and 'magic'
|Aardvark skull||Aardvark skeleton|
The skull of the aardvark is highly specialised,
adapted for its diet of ants & termites (Compare with the
Features of note include:
- Long and tubular snout.
- Bristles surround small mouth.
- Ten cheek teeth on either jaw.
- No incisors or canines.
- Long sticky tongue to gather ants.
These teeth are constructed of small tubules of
dentine compressed together, giving the Tubulidentata its name. They
have cement instead of enamel.