Here are 10 cool facts about giant anteaters.
Anteaters are rapidly emerging as big players in children’s books and cartoons alike, but still so much mystery surrounds the odd-looking creatures.
Here are 10 cool facts about the Giant variety.
Number 10. They have spikes on their tongues. They’re small but they, along with the anteaters’ viscous saliva, make sure that termites and their namesake prey are easy catches.
Number 9. Anteaters have big appetites. On average they consume about 30 thousand insects a day. They pace themselves, though, only downing a few thousand per feeding.
Number 8. Preservation of food sources is important. Anteaters don’t destroy the ant mounds they tap for nutrition. Rather, they use their long claws to drill a snout-sized hole, ensuring the site’s viability for future feedings.
Number 7. Babies ride piggyback. For several months, an anteater offspring will ride on its mother’s back. Eventually they start spending more and more time wandering about on their own.
Number 6. Infant mortality rates are high. Young anteaters only have a 50 percent chance of survival. They’re highly susceptible to pneumonia and several other health issues.
Number 5. They tend to be lone wolves. Not much for socializing, anteaters spend much of their lives alone. Exceptions include when they’re mating and during the time they raise their young.
Number 4. Anteaters have a powerful sense of smell. It’s estimated to be 40 times stronger than that of humans. Their superpower gives them the ability to sniff out ants and termites from miles away.
Number 3. Hydration is found in unique places. Their long tongues make it difficult for them to draw water from a stream or a pond. Instead, they get their daily dose of liquids by licking moisture off of plants and other vegetation.
Number 2. 89 degrees is normal. Anteaters have the lowest body temperature of any ground-only mammal. To conserve on energy they walk slowly and stay warm by wrapping themselves in their tails.
Number 1. Anteaters like to sleep. They snooze about 15 hours of the day away. That leaves them to do most of their hunting at night, but as their vision is poor, they’ve become good at guiding themselves by smell.
What do you find the most fascinating about giant anteaters?