31
Mar 05

THE FT TOP 25 ANIMALS – 4. Anteater

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Are there any other animals who are defined solely by their diet? Plenty of creatures eat ants after all – it is the anteater’s m.o. that gives it special claim in this area. (I googled anteaters to write this entry at least half-hoping that they don’t even eat ants: this is only true of captive ones, though, which eat mashed banana and corned beef.)

It is certainly true that the ant-eating capacities of the anteater are impressive. In fact to a termite or ant colony the appearance of an anteater must be equivalent to the coming of the planet-devouring Galactus: after annihilating the crust of the colony with its forepaws the anteater then guzzles thousands of insects in a few minutes courtesy of a MACHINE GUN TONGUE that can extend two metres and goes at 160 licks per minute.

Spot the difference:


Bad news for the ants. Which are also in our Top 25 animals, so you might think we would hate the anteater. But there is, let’s face it, no shortage of ants.

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