Monday, January 17, 2011


Todays topic is the anteater. We have all heard of one but have you ever seen one? Do you know anything about them?

An anteater does enjoy eating ants but also spends a lot of it's time eating termites. They are found around the world in the tropics. There are four different types of anteaters (echidnas, pangolins, aardvark, and aardwolf). All of these anteaters are practically toothless probably because what they eat is so small. The anteaters have long sticky tongues which allow them to get the ants. The anteater has the largest tongue in relation to it's body size of any mammal on Earth. It's tongue can reach up to 2 ft long. It uses it's claws to dig into the ant hill and then sticks its tongue into the hill up to 150 times per minute. This fast rate of sticking it's tongue in and out makes it difficult for the ants to bite the tongue. Then with no teeth the anteater takes the ants that have stuck to the tongue and crushes them on the roof of his mouth and then swallows them.

Costa Rica has three different types of anteaters. The first is the Giant Anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) which weighs up to 45lbs and is a terrestrial forest dweller. The second is Tamanduas (Tamandua mexicana) which are medium sized and scansorial (which means it is capable of climbing). The third and smallest species is the silky anteater (cyclopes didactylus) is always arboreal (in the trees) and is rarely seen.

There you have it those are the three different species of anteaters in Costa Rica. Now it is time to go out and see them in the wild. Join us on a Costa Rica adventure!

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