Anteaters are strange looking creatures that can be found primarily around Central and South America. They like to live in grasslands, woodlands and rainforests. Take a look at our list below to find 21 more cool and amazing facts about anteaters.
1. Anteaters don’t have any teeth as they mainly use their long and sticky tongue to catch prey.
2. Anteaters can be as small as a squirrel or up to 7 feet long, when you count from the tip of their nose to the end of its tail.
3. Their long and sticky tongue can be up to 2 feet long. It’s very narrow and covered with tiny spines.
4. Since ants can bite, anteaters eat them very quickly. They flick their tongue 150 to 160 times in a minute during the feeding to make sure that they can grab enough ants while also avoiding their bites.
5. They catch ants and termites through the small hole on top of their anthill.
6. They never destroy the anthill because they know that they can come back later and eat another portion of ants once the ant colony has had enough time to rebuild.
7. Anteaters have very poor eyesight but an amazing sense of smell. They can detect smells 40 times better than humans and they use this sense of smell to find food.
8. Their stomach is designed specifically to grind down the large amount of ants and termites that the ingest. Their stomach produces formic acid instead of hydrochloric acid, which is found in other mammals.
9. Anteaters can eat up to 30,000 insects every single day.
10. They are known for sleeping about 15 hours per day. Every hour they are away, they are either looking for an ant colony or ingesting ants.
11. They have a very low body temperature compared to other mammals. It’s about 32.7 degrees Celsius.
12. Anteaters are very solitary animals and they will only come together during the mating season. A group of these anteaters is called a “parade.”
13. They have 4 inch long claws that they use to defend against predators. Their main predators are jaguars and cougars.
14. Anteaters are known to live up to 15 years in the wild and 25 years in captivity. They live longer in captivity due to having no predators.
15. Their pregnancy lasts about 190 days and usually ends up with a single offspring. The offspring stays with its mother until it’s 2 years old or until she’s pregnant once again. The mother carries the offspring on her back during the first year of its life.
16. While they primarily eat ants, they’re also known to eat fruit. Giant anteaters will eat fruit that has already fallen to the ground. The smaller species of anteaters will climb trees in order to find fruit to supplement their diet.
17. The anteater’s thick fur is a form of self defense. The long and dense fur protects them from stings and bites from insects while they hunt for their food.
18. Anteaters are normally very quiet animals. The only exception to this is when male anteaters threaten or fight each other. When they’re getting ready to fight, the anteaters will give out a long drawn out cry. Once the fight actually happens, they will bellow and roar at each other.
19. The nearest relatives to anteaters are sloths and armadillos. They are part of the Xenarthra super order, which is known for having strange joints. This is mainly because anteaters have a special articulation in the vertebrae in their lower back.
20. Anteaters claws are so large and sharp that they walk on their knuckles, similar to a gorilla.
21. In the early 1700s, many Europeans believed that all anteaters were female and that they mated using their noses.