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Ant Eaters

( Originally Published 1936 )

These animals have long thick hair and a bushy tail, and no teeth. The snout is long and tapering, the tongue long and slender, and covered with adhesive saliva, to which adhere the ants and other insects on which the animals feed.

Great Ant-Eater (Myrmecophaga tridastyla)

The Great Ant-Eater, found in South America, is a rather large animal, measuring upwards of four feet in length without the tail. The head is very long and pointed, the mouth small, opening at the extreme end of the muzzle, the tongue prehensile, very long and slender, and covered with a sticky sub-stance. The food consists of ants which are dug from hills by the use of the powerful claws. These are long and very strong, especially on the front feet, and are not placed on the ground in walking, the creature stepping on its knuckles instead of the soles of its feet. The hind-feet are somewhat bear-like in form, and are placed flat upon the ground. In colour the Great Ant-Eater is a dark grizzled-grey, or black, with a band of white projecting over the front of the neck and diagonally across the shoulders. The hair is extremely coarse in texture, and the long bushy tail is carried almost in line with the body. See Plate 20, Fig lot.

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