At one glance, the anteater looks like something out of the world and it left everyone completely puzzled.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on February 2, 2023. It has since been updated.
Outside of Central and Southern America, few people are familiar with anteaters. An anteater, as the name implies, is a wild animal that mostly feeds on ants and termites. These insectivorous animals are edentate, which means they lack teeth. They eat insects with their extended tongues and dig through wood and dirt with their claws. Some anteater species, such as the Gaint Anteater, appear to have two heads. Their black and white fuzzy paws create the illusion that their front leg is the head. Furthermore, their real head, which is an extended snout, might appear to be a leg at first glance, reported Indian Express.
It’s a giant anteater, being filmed in an enclosure (the reflections in the window). And no, it doesn’t have 2 heads. pic.twitter.com/Bo3WJmoMp9— Ross Mitchell (@riley2_ross) January 30, 2023
A video of a giant anteater's perplexed expression has gained attention online. The seven-second video, which appears to have been shot in a zoo cage, shows the animal smashing a wooden plank in order to devour the termites and ants that lie inside. A Twitter account called Figen (@TheFigen_) published an undated video online. This video has received over 7.5 million views so far.
One Twitter user, @MrSpock2020, commented, "Wtf am I seeing here? Looks like an experiment they have done with its DNA or something who knows? Interesting though." Another user, @madbaldscotsman said, "Nature has a way of protecting vital parts with parts that look like other predators. Like some dogs have to mark above their eyes that look like eyes. Some butterflies are marked to make them look like other butterflies that do not taste good to birds." Another user @carmattmom commented, "Optical illusion due to coloring on the anteater’s left leg. I had to watch it for a few minutes before seeing the leg as a leg, not another head. Nature can play tricks at times."
Just wait until you see how cute they are in defense position (yeah, I know it's not to pet them), when they feel threatened they stand on two legs and spread their arms out like traffic cops(I don't know if all species do). In Brazil, the name of this animal is "tamanduá"— ℝ𝕚𝕫𝕖 ⚢ ☕ (@K4MISHIR0) February 2, 2023
Twitter user @raj5251 said, "The illusion is caused by the colors of the anteater's fur, as its black and white coat forms what looks like panda's eyes, be ears and a nose. What you don't see are the large claws on each of their paws, which are curled when the anteater walks & are used to dig through the anthill."
In another interesting animal story, the Aboriginal peoples of Australia have discovered another cause of wildfires: birds. According to National Geographic, indigenous people believe that a type of bird known as "firehawks" can manage fires by carrying flaming sticks to new sites on their beaks or talons. There's an intriguing reason why these birds do this. "Firehawks" are reported to hunt prey using fire, primarily insects or tiny animals that try to flee the flames. These intriguing experiences were compiled in research published in the Journal of Ethnobiology.
Mark Bonta, a National Geographic grantee and geographer at Penn State University, was quick to point out that they aren't "discovering anything." He said, "Most of the data that we've worked with is collaborative with Aboriginal peoples. They've known this for probably 40,000 years or more." According to Bob Gosford, an Australian indigenous rights lawyer and ornithologist who co-authored the paper, birds such as the black kite, whistling kite and brown falcon flourish in wildfires that occur in Australia's tropical savannas.