In detail

The anteater - profile


Surname: Anteater
Other names: Beak hedgehog, Echidna
Latin name: Tachyglossidae
class: Mammals
size: 50 - 75cm
mass: 5 - 15kg
Older: 30 - 50 years
Appearance: yellowish-brown spines, dark brown or black fur
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: Carnivore
food: Ants, termites, earthworms
distribution: Australia, New Guinea, Tasmania
original origin: Oceania
Sleep-wake rhythm: twilight active
habitat: Desert, semi-desert, high mountains, forest areas
natural enemies: Dingo
sexual maturity: with the second year of life
mating season: July August
gestation: 3 - 4 weeks
clutch size: 1 - 3 eggs
social behavior: Loners
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.

Interesting about the anteater

  • The Echidna or Echidna describes a four-species family within the Kloakentiere.
  • In German-speaking countries, the term beak hedgehog is common, which refers to the long snout of these animals.
  • In addition to the short-beaked iguana or trachyglossus aculeatus, there are three species of long-billed hedgehog or Zaglossus.
  • While the habitat of the long-beaked iguana is limited to New Guinea, the short-billed igloo inhabits not only New Guinea but also large parts of Australia and Tasmania.
  • Since ant-hedgehogs do not place high demands on their habitat, they are to be found in their home countries everywhere, where they find sufficient food. They are as much native to desert regions as they are to public parks and forests. Long-beaked hedgehogs even inhabit wooded areas at altitudes of up to four thousand meters.
  • Anteaters are carnivores and feed on termites and ants or worms. They reach their prey with their strong grave claws.
  • In her elongated mouth are up to eighteen inches long tongue and horn plates instead of a dentition with teeth.
  • The short-billed hedgehog reaches a body length of about 50 centimeters and a maximum weight of seven kilograms, with the males being slightly larger than the females.
  • The long-beaked hedgehogs weigh up to 15 kilograms and have a body length of up to 75 centimeters.
  • The body of the anthill is covered by up to sixty centimeters long spines, which are hollow inside and often hairy.
  • Like duckbills, ant-hedgehogs have a sting at the buttock that does not secrete any poisonous substance.
  • The coat is dark brown or black and varies in length depending on the species.
  • Anthillae retreat to their hiding places to rest, finding them in holes in hollow tree trunks as well as in burrows or crevices.
  • Like the platypus, the ant-hedgehogs also belong to the cloacal animals. Although they are mammals, they lay eggs.
  • The female lives three to four weeks after mating in July or August a single, rarely several eggs. This stows it in a bag on the belly, where they are incubated for about ten days.
  • After hatching, the young are not supplied with teats, but with a milk field with food.
  • When the still-blind cubs start training their spines at the age of about two months, they must leave the mother's bag and be taken by her to a well-protected hiding place. The mother visits the cave every few days and nurses the offspring.
  • At seven months, the young anteater is finally weaned and leaves the care of the mother at the age of about one year.
  • While juveniles are often captured by dingoes, many adult ant-iguanas fall victim to road traffic.
  • The maximum life expectancy of the Kurzschnabeligel is about fifty, those of the long-beaked hedgehog a maximum of thirty years.