Posted by: Loren Coleman on July 27th, 2008
Why is the aardvark of some importance to cryptozoology, you might be wondering?
In my revised slide show on the history of cryptozoology, I have one on the life of the “Father of Cryptozoology,” noting Bernard Heuvelmans, with the line: “Doctorate, aardvark’s teeth.”
Bernard Heuvelmans’ 1939 thesis was dedicated to the classification of the hitherto unclassifiable teeth of the aardvark (Orycteropus afer), the African “anteater.”
Of course, today we know the aardvark is not closely related to the South and Central American anteaters, at all, but it wasn’t always so. Aardvark is Afrikaans/Dutch for “earth pig.”
Heuvelmans’ work helped to assist in understanding that aardvarks are more closely related to elephants and elephant shrews that to the true anteaters.