Dispelling myths everywhere (Aardvark vs Anteater)
As per one of my favorite sites, everything2.net, I was able to look up the difference between an Aardvark and an Anteater. Why would I bother looking such a silly thing up? Because Shannon and I had a little bet going, I say they are not the same thing, and Shannon said they were -- Don't ask how this bet got started, I just don't know ^_^;
The aardvark is not the same animal as the anteater. They do not live on the same side of the Atlantic (Africa and South America, respectively) and despite a similar diet, they are not even related—though they were once thought to be related to anteaters andarmadillos ( pangolins were also in that group and later found to have a separate Order, themselves). The similar shape, particularly in the snout, as well as the long tongue (with its sticky saliva) are thought to be results of convergent evolution rather than relatedness (which ends at the Subclass level of Eutheria, or placental mammals).
In fact, the aardvark isn't much related to many animals beyond that level. It has its own Order (Tubulidentata), Family (Orycteropodidae), Genus (Orycteropus), and is the single species. This taxonomically lonely creature is Orycteropus afer (from twoGreek words meaning "a tool for digging" and "foot" and Latin for Africa).
So there you have it, they are not the same, not even close ('cept for diet) So Shannon, you better pay up, I think we bet that you would get me an iPod if I'm not mistaken ;)
Update: I have been informed that our bet was for 1$, not an iPod, so no iPod for me... yet.