Celebrated on November 24th
In Guyana. In Makushi, the giant anteater is called ‘Tamnuwa’. When it’s early in the morning or late in the afternoon, these giant anteaters can be seen roaming the grasslands and forest looking for termite castles and ant hills, in the savannahs of the Rupununi. During the heat of the day, the anteater curls up in the cool shade of trees and bushes, pulls its tail over itself like a blanket and rests.
None. Anteaters are ‘endentate’ – which is a scientific way of saying that they don’t have any teeth! Ants aren’t particularly big or crunchy, so lack of teeth is no problem for the anteater. The insects are crushed up in the anteater’s specially hardened stomach. Anteaters have long tongues that they use to gather up lots of insects at the same time. An anteater flicks its tongue at around 160 times per minute while eating! Anteaters have to eat quickly because the insects defend themselves with bites and stings. Anteaters usually feed for around a minute before moving off to find another food source.
One of the more astonishing anteater facts is that these animals sleep for 15 hours a day. However, anteaters sleep lightly. They need to be able to wake up at the slightest sound so that they can protect themselves if necessary. This is especially important because they tend to be solitary animals so don’t have the protection of a group. So much for a ‘cat nap’…