Anteater is the common name for the mammal that feeds on ants and termites. They are the fourth extant mammal species of the suborder Vermilingua. Suborder Vermilingua means “worm tongue”.
Among all the four Anteater species, the Giant Anteater, also known as Ant Bear, would be considered as a way more imposing mammal to be found in the Central and South regions of America.
The Top 25 Fascinating Things to Know About Anteaters
You may love these creatures for different reasons, including their exquisite looks. However, how much do you know about them really? Here you go with all the intriguing top 25 things to know about Anteaters.
1. What is a group of Anteaters called?
Anteaters, the cloistered animals, always do gather during the session of mating. A group of the Anteaters is called “Parade”. Maybe the reason behind calling it a “Parade” must be that they are so composed and do not mingle much. It’s surely one of the things to know about anteaters not many knew. On your next wildlife vacation, here is something that will come in handy.
2. Not a MAN or WOMAN Anteater
A male Anteater is known as a “Boar”. Now it can be seen that, thereupon, when you encounter any visit of Anteater to come, you see a male Anteater, call him not a “MAN Anteater”.
You know that a female human being is called a woman but what is a female Anteater called? It is called a “Sow”.
3. A baby Anteater a year
Okay, so what do we call a cute baby Anteater? It’s a “Pup”. The Anteater usually mates and have only one baby Anteater per year. It probably might not have had warming relations ever as these creatures are more like ‘home alone’, introverted, and anti-sappy kind. But the rearing, they do it right for a year by carrying the babies on their back and once they hit their first birthday, they are supposed to live on their own.
The silky Anteater is very cute and baby-like, they weigh from 180-400 grams. They have got this beautiful yellow fur and they are in the size of a big squirrel.
4. Aardvark vs Anteater
Aardvarks are the solitary species that are living that is the order, Tubulidentata. Coming to Anteater, they come under Vermilingua. They have also got these major differences where the Anteater has very furry skin, small ears, and a snout that is long and tapered, while the Aardvarks have no more fur on their skin, huge ears, and a snout that resembles a pig’s snout.
5. Not on an ant diet though
Yet another of the fascinating things to know about anteaters! It’s not always ants that the Anteater eat. In addition to ants and termites, Anteater also love to binge-eat soft-bodied grubs, soft fruits, beetle larvae, and birds’ eggs.
6. They have got zero teeth
Anteaters are edentate animals. Edentate animals are those mammals differentiated by the lack of canine and incisor teeth including the Anteater, sloths, and armadillos. As Anteater has no teeth, they intend on using their long tongues for scooping up the ants and termites.
7. Anteater tongue is as tall as a Greyhound
The long Anteater tongues that are around 2 feet tall are more than sufficient to lap up the 35,000 ants and termites they swallow whole each day. Like, Sirius-ly? You have got to be kidding me Mr. Anteater(um, Boar). While people are struggling to touch the tip of their nose with the tip of their tongue, you have got this extended tongue that can actually be two feet long. Duh!
8. Anteater can gross you out too
Easy there! The Anteater tongue is not really worth getting jealous of (of course, we are not but kind of excitement for strange things). Its tongue is so prolonged indeed but do you know where it starts from? From its breastbone. It has also got these spines on the tongue that face backward and extremely sticky saliva as to catch hold of more number of bugs.
9. Does everything get on their nerves?
As there lies a misconception that the Anteater are aggressive, but no, they are not. They can be fierce at times anyway. A Giant Anteater is capable of rearing up on its hind legs with the usage of its tail to balance itself. When it gets hot under the collar, it swishes out with its savage claws.
10. With capable claws to evoke jealousy in a Lion
The claws of the Giant Anteater would be around 4 inches long and this animal can fend off and hold the terrestrial mammals like Puma and Jaguar at bay.
I would rather pity them because of its paws that are structured with hulking, protracted knife-like claws, and they are pretty sharp. Due to this, the Anteater need to walk on their wrists or knuckles to avert stabbing themselves.
11. The lifespan of an Anteater
Do you know how long does the Giant Anteater lend a hand to the phenomenon of photosynthesis? Revealing about its lifespan indeed, syke! It’s surprisingly 14 to 16 years and passively productive nonetheless.
12. Force exerted on anteater by gravity (W=mg) :p
Okay, now what do the weighing machine reads when this Anteater gets on it? The male Anteater, oh yea the boars howbeit do weigh 33 to 50 kg that is 73 to 110lb. Sows, the female Anteater weigh 27 to 47 kg that is 60 to 104lb. This record of weight makes the Giant Anteater the biggest extant species in its suborder. Not many know of it when it comes to things to know about anteaters.
13. How Sky-scraping are these Giant Anteater?
All they preferably eat is ANTS, but hey they are GiantS. So, these Giant Anteater measure from 1.8 to 2.2 meters.
The Giant Anteater can grow to an extent where it can reach 8 feet long considering from the tip of its snout to the terminal of its tail. Anteater can be as small as squirrels, like silky Anteater and also measure too big, like Giant Anteater. Woah, they can be taller than a grown man, what they up to?
14. O, Anteater, Anteater! Wherefore art thou Anteater?
These Giant Anteater stretch from Honduras in Central America to the Gran Chaco region of Bolivia in South America.
The ants upon which these Giant Anteater and all the other three types of Anteater feed on are think on the grounds in here. To that end, the tropical and dry forests, savannas, and grasslands are the most habitual places for the Anteater to be found in.
15. Uh-oh! Not even selectively social?
Anteater, the lone wolves, are not really interested to socialize and hang out with the other animals and in fact with each other too. The Boars and Sows would only get together for mating and never again. They are not these human-friendly animals. But hey, chillax! They would only attack if you strike terror into them.
16. An Anteater is a sleepy Sloth in disguise
O, Giant Anteater! What kind of a sleepyhead art thou? Just because you are recognized as a Giant Anteater in general, do every deed you do has to be huge?
A Giant Anteater is capable of sleeping from 15 to 16 hours a day. Yes, very professional at napping though. And, maybe that is the reason why it has shared these common ancestors with sloth bears. Oh, I wish they could realize that there are just 24 hours a day to spend more than half a day competing with the Sloths.
17. The predators of Anteaters
Jaguars and Cougars are the main predators of Anteater. They usually spend no more than a minute near one anthill and catch up as many ants they can with the long tongue and then they move to the next one. This is to make sure that their safety is not at risk to be a pray of any creature that’s kind of superior to it by all means.
18. How efficient is their vision?
The Anteater have a masterly smart sense of smell that lends a hand to them in finding the ants and filling their tummy. Their sense of smell is 40 times stronger than humans and their eyesight is not up to the mark. They can be said “practically blind” for that matter. Thankfully, these Anteater are nocturnal animals, that is, they are active during the night. In the case of the Giant Anteater, they are diurnal, that is, they are active during the day.
19. Energy-saving mode is always on
Giant Anteater are too smart to train their mitochondria to turn ADP molecules into ATP molecules in cruise control. They have a very low rate of metabolism and body temperature because of the low intake of its prey that has low energy content. So, they do not need more energy to degrade the food, that is, the ants, and have a lot of energy stored too.
20. How far can Anteater tongue be exaggerated?
No wonder to say that the Anteater tongue looks like a Giant strand of sticky spaghetti. Did you know how many times can they actually flick their tongue in and out of the mouth in a minute?
It’s around a hundred and fifty times a minute. That means it is more than twice a second. It is probably because of the aversive stimulus of the ant bites. So, as to avoid the ant bites, it flicks the tongue so quickly.
21. Hey, you smarty Anteater!
Another of the things to know about anteaters – did you know how brainy these Anteaters are? They rely on ants to eat, reach out to the anthills, eat the ants with its super quickly flicking tongue but never do anything in haste. They never destroy the anthill because of their plan to come and eat in it again. As the built-home would not be left destroyed, the ants gather over there again.
We know that they would not stay near an anthill for more than a minute. On that note, they plan to eat the other portion of ants in their other visit. This would be the other reason behind not destroying the anthills.
22. They can be deadly and dangerous too
Unless they are threatened by humans, they would be seemingly calm and all bothered about their ants and all. They do not easily become fiercely-anti-human in general until we provoke them. Concerning their strong ability to fight back, Anteaters are considered as kind of dangerous animals too by some governments.
There was an incident which says that, in the year 2007, a Giant Anteater that was in the zoo had savagely scratched and torn the zookeeper and also disemboweled him. Maybe theaAnteater considered him a danger to its baby Anteaters or maybe it just wanted to secure its domain. Either way, here is one of the things to know about anteaters – you may not want to go too near them.
23. Better not to PET them
I know Anteaters are all agog and never fails to make you more curious out of their interesting features and facts to know about. Well, how about an Anteater pet? Having it in your homes like a pet dog or cat?
The mortality rate of Anteater is not pretty great anyway. They have a 50 percent mortality rate. Here is another of the important things to know about anteaters – do not keep it as a pet!
24. Is its Bushy Tail really that functional?
Not out of no use, there lies such heavy bushy tail. Their immense furry tail has a purpose indeed. It helps the Anteater to keep itself very warm and is also used as a cover to keep them warm at night. Maybe it might also keep the Anteater cool in the day from the sun. The tail would take the role of an insulator during its sleep.
The tail is so big that it can cover the entire Anteater, (well, maybe not its never-ending snout) so that, like camouflage, it would help in hiding the Anteaters from predators. Surely, one of the things to know about anteaters you didn’t think about.
25. How do they mate?
Here is another of the top things to know about anteaters. In the 18th century, the first Giant Anteaters were brought to Europe. Initially, the scientists of that period believed that they all were female because there found no peculiar differences as to identify their sex. Later on, they found that they use their long snouts for mating.
These are the interesting top 25 things to know about the Anteaters. What are the facts and things to know about anteaters that you enjoyed reading the most?