The Banded Anteater sure loves termites. Every day, it eats 20,000 of them! Unfortunately, deforestation has caused the termites to disappear, and the introduction of new animals by humans has caused the Banded Anteaters population to fall.
Body length: Male 20 to 27 cm / Female 21 to 26 cm
Tail length: Male 16 to 21 cm / Female 16 to 19 cm
Weight: Male 370 to 550 g / Female 284 to 530 g
(Source: Doubutsu Sekai-isan* Red Data Animals Kodansha) (*World Animal Heritage)
They live in forests of Southwest Australia.
They love termites! They have tongues that are more than half the length of their whole body, which they use to lick termites out of their burrows and eat them!
They have very blunt claws on their forelegs. Using these claws, they can dig into logs, fallen trees, and earth to hunt for termites.
They can't live without termites...
The Banded Anteater has many unusual features. They are a marsupial just like a kangaroo, but have no belly pouch. A young Banded Anteater hangs from its mother and suckles while they move along together. They are active during the day, which is unusual for a marsupial. Scientists think this is because termites are also the most active during the day. Banded Anteaters love termites! However, deforestation has caused the termite population to nearly disappear, and Banded Anteaters have in turn lost much of their food source.
Humans have introduced new enemies?!
On top of that, humans have also introduced new animals that have made it difficult for the Banded Anteater to survive. Banded Anteaters are hunted by animals like foxes, dogs and cats that are not native to their homeland of Australia, and their population became so low that there were less than 1000 left. Despite people’s effort to conserve them, they are not safe from extinction just yet. It is still important to continue to carry out activities to protect them from enemies and preserve their homelands.
If you click the words above, you can see other animals related to this one.