antbear, noun

Origin:
Named for a fancied resemblance to a bear.
aardvark. Also attributive.
1796 E. Helme tr. of F. Le Vaillant’s New Trav. III. 392This ant-bear is called in the colonies erd-verken (earth hog).
1810 G. Barrington Acct of Voy. 323The creature called the ant bear..feeds upon them (ants); and as his tongue..can be suddenly darted out to a length of two feet, he imbibes a great number of these little insects at once.
1835 J.W.D. Moodie Ten Yrs in S. Afr. I. 254The ant-bears, which are much better furnished with strong claws for penetrating the indurated clay of a dry climate.
1876 T. Stubbs Reminiscences. 7Many a poor Settler nearly broke his neck by tumbling into Ant Bear holes, that were covered with grass.
1907 J.P. Fitzpatrick Jock of Bushveld 245Once they caught an ant-bear in the open, and there was a rough-and-tumble.
1911 P. Gibbon Margaret Harding 81Paul’s store was an abandoned ant bear’s hole across which there trailed the broad dry leaves of a tenacious gourd.
1924 G. Baumann in Baumann & Bright Lost Republic (1940) 112They were discussing the enormous speed at which an ‘erdvark’ (ant-bear) dug itself in.
c1936 S. & E. Afr. Yr Bk & Guide 1101The ant-bear (orycteropus afer)..is an animal with a long body, some 6 feet in length, sparsely covered with black hair. Its snout, ears and tongue are also enormously long, and its legs and tail strong and short; the former being well adapted to digging. It lives upon insects and nearly every ant-heap in the Karroo has a widely gaping mouth on its Southern side, this point of attack being selected by the aard vark.
1967 E.M. Slatter My Leaves Are Green 181I came round a thick bush and there, at the side, was a big hole made by Isimbamgodi (the antbear).
1970 Evening Post 20 Oct. 3An African hunter apparently suffocated after chasing a small buck down an antbear hole.
1982 S. Afr. Panorama Dec. 12Lesser animals, some of them nocturnal, include antbear, mongoose, porcupine..and civet cats.
1990 S. Afr. Panorama JulyAug. 20The burrow of the ant-bear (Orycteropus afer) serves as a pleasant abode with a favourable temperature for a score of ‘lodgers’.
aardvark. Also attributive.

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