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Anteater Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Mary Grace Miller

Mary Grace has taught first grade for 8 years and has a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and is licensed in ESL.

You might have seen an anteater in a zoo or seen a picture of one, but what are anteaters? Do they really eat ants? Keep reading to find out more about this interesting and funny looking animal.

What Are Anteaters?

What kind of toppings do anteaters like on their pizza? Ant-chovies!

It's tempting to make jokes about anteaters, because most people would agree they are pretty funny-looking. They have long snouts and large claws. Anteaters can vary a lot in size - the smallest anteater is just over one foot long, while the largest can be as long as 6 feet. That is about as long as an adult man is tall.

Anteaters are mammals. This means that they have hair, are warm-blooded, and have live babies instead of laying eggs. There are four types of anteaters: the giant anteater, the northern tamandua (or lesser anteater), the southern tamandua, and the silky anteater.

Where Do Anteaters Live?

Anteaters live in Mexico, Central America, and South America.
anteater

Most anteaters live in Mexico, Central America, and South America. They can be found in many different types of environments, including grasslands, deserts, woodlands, and rainforests. They build burrows, or tunnels in the ground and sleep in them at night. The silky anteater only lives in forests, but the giant and tamandua anteaters live in forests, deserts, and grasslands.

What Do Anteaters Eat?

Anteaters do like to eat ants, but that's not all they eat. They are insectivores, which means that they like to eat many different types of insects, but they don't eat anything else. Anteaters have a great sense of smell that they use to sniff out their food. They have strong front legs that they use to break into termite nests and eat the termites.

Anteaters hunt for food during the day, using their very long, sticky tongues to lick up the bugs. Instead of drinking water, anteaters get their water from licking wet plants.

Anteaters have long tongues that help them catch ants.
anteater tongue

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