Monday, April 1, 2013

A is for Anteater

Groan. Has the A to Z Challenge really arrived already? So much for being prepared....

I have always been a big fan of anteaters. For some reason during my childhood I would always find myself making friends with people with big noses. I'm not sure if this was a subliminal thing because I liked anteaters of if my affinity with people with big noses led me to relate to anteaters later in life.


The giant anteater (Malene Thyssen)


I'm also rather keen on anteaters because I really have no time for pesky ants.

Anteaters I guess are the animal kingdom's answer to Orkin pest control and unlike Orkin you don't have to hang around for someone to turn up and pay them. Unfortunately my last attempt to procure a Giant Anteater from PetsMart was not entirely successful and I was instead flogged a budgie.

The Giant Anteater is the coolest of the lot and usually hangs out in South America. The lot of an anteater is not a fun one as they tend to spend all day - um eating ants, strangely enough. How many? Up to 35,000 a day although I have no idea who compliled this stat.

There's also the small matter that ants can sting. Wikipedia states: "To avoid the jaws, sting, and other defences of the invertebrates, anteaters have adopted the feeding strategy to lick up as many ants and termites as quickly as possible — an anteater normally spends about a minute at a nest before moving on to another — and a giant anteater has to visit up to 200 nests to consume the thousands of insects it needs to satisfy its caloric requirements."

All in all it's a hell of a lot easier to go out for a curry, if you ask me. Oh yeah and anteaters are xenarthrans - so there.

The anteater's tongue is also covered in tiny hooks and flicks 150 times a minute. If you are an ant in the path of one of these critters my best advice to you is be very afraid. If you see one of these coming your way, you really are in for Antmageddon.

Useless Fact About Anteaters


They have a body temperature fluctuating between 33 and 36 °C (91 and 97 °F) which is among the lowest body temperatures of any mammal.

What Not to Say to an Anteater

Move over Barry Manilow, you're making the bed cold.


32 comments:

  1. Anteaters are definitely interesting creatures. I also am not a big fan of ants.

    TaMara
    Tales of a Pee Dee Mama

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    1. for real TaMara - will keep trying to buy one lol

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  2. It's good to see that I'm not the only one taking my A from classic children's alphabet words :) Also, yay anteaters they are fuzzy!

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    1. yep there are not enough fuzzy anteaters to go round...

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  3. For some reason during my childhood I would always find myself making friends with people with big noses. LOL - that's funny!
    Now zenarthrans - that would be a good Zed for this challenge!

    They can flick their tongues 150 times a minute!...No comment.

    Great post :)

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    1. yay am looking for a z - of course there's the obvious one. Hmm 150 times a minute seems somewhat excessive lol

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  4. Well hey, I learned a little about anteaters today. Thanks for that. :)

    *snickers at Juliette's comment*

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    1. well I do like to educate on the subject of anteaters - thnx for dropping by :)

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  5. For all their virtues, they are awfully ugly, aren't they?!

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    1. well yes think I found a rather odd looking specimen for the post Judy..

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  6. This is the second blog I've visited today that featured anteaters, but yours is more informative. Are you writing about badgers tomorrow? Just wondering.

    Looking forward to your B-Z blogs!

    Your fellow A-Z challenger,
    Deecoded

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    1. thx Dee - always nice to know I have the most informative anteater blog out there :)

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  7. I like anteaters...used to have a story book about them when I was a little girl and loved it. Interesting tidbit about flicking their tongues 150 times a minute...yep...I'll leave that one alone lol.

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    1. tell that to an unfortunate ant Tracy lol :)

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  8. That's one ugly, huge anteater. I knew they're ugly, but I didn't know they can be that big.

    Good luck and have fun with the challenge, David.
    xoRobyn

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    1. well you'd get funny looks if you took one for a walk am thinking Robyn :)

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  9. Hahaha, I'm glad now I know what to never say to an anteater. I may have gotten myself in trouble someday.

    I also have no use for ants so anteaters are alright by me. Looking forward to seeing what other animals you decide to spotlight. :)

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    1. Thanks Julie - mmm may have to put some thought into it soonish

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  10. Yay for anteaters!!!

    Though, whenever I hear Anteater, all I picture is the B.C. comic--

    "Let's see, you eat ants... so, I shall call you an 'Anteater'.."
    "So much for the element of surprise."

    Zot!!

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    1. indeed e.a.s - seems to have a cult following.

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  11. Gee I sure learned something today!! I always thought they were interesting, but never studied them! Thanks for all the information about them! They really have to work very hard to keep up with those caloric requirements. Great post!! Enjoyed it very much! www.sandysanderellasmusings.blogspot.com

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    1. thanks Sandy - yes no easy eating for an aneater I'm afraid...

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  12. Fascinating! I never knew anything about the anteater at all except that it ate ants.

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  13. We've got some anteaters at our local zoo, and we enjoy checking in on them when we go.

    I don't know what's more impressive, the 35,000 ants a day stat or the fact that someone took the time to figure it out.

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    1. Have a weird image of some guy with a piece of paper counting ants as they are eaten...

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  14. I remember some idiotic cartoon or something where the anteater would suck up the ants like a vacuum.

    And isn't it Xenarthra?

    :)

    Yes, I am annoying.

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  15. hmmmmmmmm - you may may just have a point tho :)

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  16. Anteaters are amazing creatures. It always fascinates me how some large animals eat such itty bitty creatures.

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    1. hard to know how it keeps them going - thanks for dropping by Patricia Lynne.

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  17. Your anteater looks pretty cool to me!

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