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Discovery Magazine 5/1/2006

The Giant Anteater


The Giant Anteater is another marvelous proof of the Divine Designer. The Giant Anteater is a mammal that grows to about four feet long (not counting the tail) and two feet high at the shoulder, and weighs about 70 pounds. It walks with its front feet turned on their sides to protect his claws. It has a long, thin head, a large, bushy tail, and lives mostly in the tropical, humid forests of South and Central America, in low swampy savannas and along riverbanks.

God made the anteater’s color pattern to add to his camouflage. The position that a baby anteater takes while riding on its mother’s back causes the baby’s stripe to match up with the stripe on the mother, making the little one almost invisible.

The Giant Anteater’s long, tubular muzzle-mouth is very small—barely big enough for a pencil! But it was specially designed that way by God to house its very long tongue (extending up to 24 inches) so that it can eat ants and termites. The anteater rips open their concrete-hard mounds with his powerful sharp front claws. As the insects swarm forth from their mound, it flicks his tongue in and out  at the incredible rate of 150 or more times a minute! Since its tongue is heavily coated with thick, sticky saliva, the anteater draws ants into its mouth and then stiffens the backward-pointing papillae (projections) on its tongue into spines to mash them against the hard roof of its mouth. Anteaters eat about 30,000 ants per day. Amazingly, their sense of smell allows them to identify the species of ants or termites before the nest is ripped open.

Anteaters only spend a couple of minutes feeding at any one nest, removing only a few thousand insects at one feeding. They circulate around their area, feeding lightly here and there, never destroying any one nest. Why? God made it so that they never deplete their food base.

The Giant Anteater is another example of the deliberate design that God built into His Creation.

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