Friday, September 07, 2007

National Zoo: Anteater

In July, the Washington D.C. National Zoo was surprised when they found that their giant anteater had a little baby. This baby looked like the Mom in every way. They found her clinging on her mom's back. However, since the two were inseparable, it took awhile before anyone knew the baby's sex. So every one called the baby, "Little Snozzie" because of her long nose. Her official name is Aurora.

"The giant anteater may be five to seven feet long, from nose to tail, and weigh 40 to 86 pounds. It has a narrow head, long nose, small eyes, and round ears. Its coarse hair may be gray or brown, with a white-banded black stripe running along the body to mid-torso, and a long, bushy tail, which can be two to three feet long. Its front feet have large claws, which are curled under when it walks. It has poor vision but a keen sense of smell. "

"The giant anteater detects termite mounds and anthills with its keen sense of smell and tears them open with its strong claws. Its long nose, which contains a bone tube formed by the fusion of the upper and lower jaws, functions as a vacuum, sucking in the insects. The anteater's sticky tongue—up to two feet long—collects more insects. An anteater may eat as many as 30,000 ants in a day."

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