A Lesser Anteater Sticks Out His Really Long Tongue to Reach Ants at the Bottom of a Tube

A little tamandua (lesser anteater) named Otis who lives at the San Diego Zoo showed off his incredibly long tongue to root out some ants at the bottom of a tube. His keeper explained what makes these animals so unique.

His tongue is 16 inches long and is covered in tiny little barbs and really sticky saliva, I mean crazy sticky. And his mouth is only about as big around as a pencil.

Here’s more information about the tamanduas at the San Diego Zoo.

The tamandua (pronounced tuh MAN doo wah) is a type of anteater and is often called a lesser anteater because it is much smaller than its relative, the giant anteater. A specialized mouth and tongue enables tamanduas to eat up to 9,000 ants in a single day! Their sticky, barbed-tongues are 16-inches-long (41 centimeters) and perfect for slurping up tiny insects. The lesser anteater’s thick, coarse fur protects them from angry ants trying to bite their skin while they dine.

via Digg

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.