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.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.