Friday, February 04, 2011

Earth Pig

Which is what 'aardvark' means in Afrikaans. Contrary to appearances, this nocturnal African insectovore is not made of plasticine.

The specimens shown here are from the Henry Doorly zoo in Omaha, USA. For further information go to and search for 'aardvark'. Due to the way their website is structured, I can't give exact links to the aardvark related material, but there are entries from October and December 2005.

It's no surprise to see zoos showing an interest in aardvarks, but I hadn't realised they'd caught the attention of the excellent surrealist artist Leonora Carrington, in this 1997 piece titled 'Aardvark Groomed by Widows".
Net links:
Leonora Carrington: an interview a gallery and a thesis.
Aardvarks: The African Wildlife Foundation

Book links:
Leonora Carrington: Leonora Carrington: Surrealism, Alchemy And Art and her odd surrealist novel The Hearing Trumpet
Aardvarks: None! Oh sure, a million children's book and a fair bit of information on the F-111 Aardvark Fighter-Bomber, but nothing to be found on Orycteropus afer, only surviving member of the family Orycteropodidae and of the order Tubulidentata.


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