Q:

What do anteaters eat?

A:

Quick Answer

According to National Geographic, anteaters swallow 35,000 ants and termites whole on a daily basis, and About.com states that they also eat other grubs and insects occasionally. Each anteater species has its own insect preference, according to Wikipedia. Large anteaters are capable of penetrating the hard covering of terrestrial insects' nests, while small species are equipped to eat arboreal insects that live on small branches.

Continue Reading
What do anteaters eat?
Credit: Mark Jones Roving Tortoise Photos Oxford Scientific Getty Images

Full Answer

In order to avoid the defense mechanisms of its prey, feeding anteaters spend roughly one minute at each nest before moving on. This allows them to lick up as many ants or termites at a time as possible. According to National Geographic, the anteater is capable of flicking its tongue up to 160 times per minute. The giant anteater typically has to visit approximately 200 nests in order to fulfill its daily needs.

Anteaters find their prey by using their keen sense of smell, as their vision is very poor. They have large claws which are used to rip open insect nests, and long, thin tongues that can extend past the length of their head, which are used to quickly lap up insects. After eating, they do not destroy the nest, allowing them to return for multiple feedings.

Learn more about Ants

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How can you tell the difference between flying ants and termite swarmers?

    A:

    Although flying ants and flying termites look quite similar, it is possible to tell the two species apart by looking at the insect's antennae, wings and abdomen. One easy way is to look at the number of body segments, as termites have two segments and ants have three.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Do flying ants bite?

    A:

    Flying ants are typically carpenter ants, which can bite. Their jaws are strong, and they inject formic acid into the puncture, which causes a burning feeling around the wound area. A carpenter ant bite causes a pea-sized red mark that can take up to eight days to go away.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What attracts ants?

    A:

    Food and water attract ants. Different ant species prefer different types of food, but most of them eat organic matter or nectar. This means that anything from household and garden waste to spilled soda can attract ants.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is an ant death spiral?

    A:

    An ant death spiral, also known as an ant mill, occurs when ants get separated from the rest of the foraging party and end up following the scent of the ants in front of them in an endless loop. Eventually, the ants became exhausted and perish.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore