Anteater

Myrmecophaga tridactyla

What is going on with the Anteaters

Anteaters have been around for 25 million years. They have disappeared from much of their habitat due to habitat loss, especially from fires in grassland regions, and hunting, both for food and as pests. It is estimated that only 5,000 anteaters are left in the wild, while a small number (around 90) live in zoos in the US.

Physical Adaptions

Adults of some species lose most or all of their hair but, even in mammals like whales and dolphins, hair is present at least during some phase of ontogeny. Mammalian hair, made of a protein called keratin, serves at least four functions. First, it slows the exchange of heat with the environment (insulation). Second, specialized hairs (whiskers or "vibrissae") have a sensory function, letting an animal know when it is in contact with an object in its environment.Vibrissae are often richly innervated and well-supplied with muscles that control their position. Third, hair affects appearance through its color and pattern.

Behavioral Adaptions

Some of the behavioral is that they have to learn how to walk, communicate, and reproduce.How walk is with a slow shuffle on all four legs with their nose pointed to the ground. They don’t walk on their feet instead, with the claws curled up into the feet, anteaters walk on their "fists." How they learn how to communicate is when there young and their mothers or during fighting. It consists of snorts, sniffs, and hisses, as well as roaring during fights.

General description

Type: Mammal


Diet: Carnivore


Average life span in the wild: 14 years


Size: Head and body, 6 to 49 in (15 to 124 cm); tail, 7 to 35 in (18 to 89 cm)


Weight: 40 to 140 lbs (18 to 64 kg)


Color: mostly brown and black

How They Eat and there diet

How they eat is the anteater uses its sharp claws to tear an opening into an anthill and put its long snout and efficient tongue to work. But it has to eat quickly, flicking its tongue up to 160 times per minute. Ants fight back with painful stings, so an anteater may spend only a minute feasting on each mound. Anteaters never destroy a nest, preferring to return and feed again in the future.The giant anteater detects termite mounds and anthills with its keen sense of smell and tears them open with its strong claws. What we call an anteater's nose is actually an elongated jaw with a small, black, moist nose, like a dog's nose. Giant anteaters have a two-foot-long tongue and huge salivary glands that produce copious amounts of sticky saliva when they feed

Where they can be found

Anteaters are found in Central and South America, where they prefer tropical forests and grasslands.

Verebrata

muscular, perforated pharynx; this structure is the site of gills in fishes but is much reduced in adult land-dwelling forms (although it is extremely important in embryonic development of all vertebrates)


movements provided by muscles attached to endoskeleton


digestive system with large digestive glands, liver, and pancreas


ventral heart with 2-4 chambers


blood with red blood corpuscles containing hemoglobin, and in addition, white corpuscles

Classification

Domain Eurarya

Have nuclues. Can be single celled or multicellular.

Animalia

Animal cells lack the rigid cell walls that characterize plant cells. The bodies of most animals (all except sponges) are made up of cells organized into tissues, each tissue specialized to some degree to perform specific functions. In most, tissues are organized into even more specialized organs. Most animals are capable of complex and relatively rapid movement compared to plants and other organisms.

Species

Giant anteaters are quite distinctive morphologically, they are the largest of the anteater species. The snout is long (up to 45 cm in length) and the skull is streamlined with small eyes and ears. The tail is large and bushy and is nearly as long as the body. Head and body length measures 1,000 to 1,200 mm and tail length 650 to 900 mm. Weight ranges from 18 to 39 kg. Giant anteaters have fur that is thick and coarse and longer towards the tail.

Genus

giant anteater.

Family

Anteaters range from the very small Cyclopes, which weighs around 250 gms, to the large Myrmecophaga, which weighs over 30 kg. All anteaters have long, tapered snouts; that of Myrmecophaga is extraordinarily elongated. The tongue is also long. Anteaters secrete a sticky substance from their salivary glands that coats the tongue when they feed. The ears are small and rounded, and the eyes are small.

Order

sloths and anteaters
All mammals have hair at some point during their development, and most mammals have hair their entire lives. Adults of some species lose most or all of their hair but, even in mammals like whales and dolphins, hair is present at least during some phase of ontogeny. First, it slows the exchange of heat with the environment (insulation). Second, specialized hairs (whiskers or "vibrissae") have a sensory function, letting an animal know when it is in contact with an object in its environment.
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