Since it arrived on PBS back in 1996, Arthur has been a favourite of kids’ TV for decades and millions of children around the world will have grown up with the show.
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Sadly, it has been announced that in 2022, Arthur will be coming to an end as PBS will no longer continue producing new episodes.
However, despite the fact that Arthur is leaving our screens after more than 25 years, there are still countless fans who don’t know what kind of animal Arthur Read actually is.
What animal is Arthur?Arthur Read is an aardvark.
That’s right, while the Arthur series may be set in the US, in Elwood City to be specific, its main character and his family are actually based on a mammal found in Africa.
There are a number of differences between Arthur and a real aardvark, chief among them being the absence of the aardvark’s signature long snout and pig-like nose, which is where the aardvark actually gets its name.
In Afrikaans, aardvark means “earth pig” which refers to the creature’s pig-like snout and burrowing habits.
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The typically nocturnal creature has a 30cm (12 inch) tongue and has a diet of mostly ants and termites and can break open a termite mound using strong claws.
Aardvarks are sometimes confused with anteaters but the creature differs from the giant anteater (pictured below) in a number of ways.
Firstly, its location as aardvarks are found in Africa while the giant anteater resides in Central and South America. Meanwhile, the aardvark has little in the way of fur while the larger anteater is very hairy and can be distinguished by its brush-like tail.
What about Arthur’s friends?
While we’ve discussed Arthur and his aardvark family, the series features a range of anthropomorphic characters from Buster Baxter, Muffy Crosswire and the antagonistic Mr Ratburn.
But just what animals make up the main cast of Arthur?
Aardvark | Arthur, D.W. and the Read family.
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Rabbit | Buster Baxter and family
Monkey | Muffy Crosswire, Francine Frensky
Bear | Alan “Brain” Powers, The Tibble Twins (Timmy and Tommy)
Dog | Binky Barnes (bull dog), Fern Walters, Prunella Deegan
Cat | Sue Ellen Armstrong,
Rat | Mr Ratburn
Moose | George Lundgren
Arthur is ending after 25 seasons
It was announced on July 28th, 2021 that Arthur will be coming to an end on PBS Kids and on TV channels around the world as no more episodes will be produced.
Speaking on the Finding D.W. Podcast and quoted by Distractify, Kathy Waugh, the developer of the series, revealed that the production on Arthur’s final episodes actually took place and was completed in 2019.
“I don’t know if it was a ratings issue or if it felt like it needed to be retired. To me, it felt evergreen, like it was never going to end, but it did end; we finished the last episode, season 25 two years ago.”
Arthur’s 25th and final season will consist of four episodes, split into eight segments, and will air in winter 2022 on PBS Kids in the US.
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