Anteaters

This passage discusses two similar animals that both like to eat ants.

Lexile Level: 770L

Categories: Animals & Nature


Although aardvarks and anteaters both eat ants, they are not the same animal. Aardvarks are found in Africa, where early European settlers gave them the name "earth pig." In fact, aardvarks are not related to pigs or to any other animal. They are unique. Aardvarks are all roughly the same size, around 43 to 53 inches, and weigh from 100 to 180 pounds. Aardvarks have teeth that wear away and regrow continuously. They dig burrows in the ground where they sleep and mate. "Anteater" is the common name for any of four insect-eating mammals in South and Central America. They range in size. The giant anteater measures 7 feet and weighs up to 86 pounds. The pygmy anteater is about the size of a squirrel. Anteaters have no teeth. They live above ground, sometimes in trees. Aardvarks are nocturnal, which means they are active only at night. Only some kinds of anteaters are nocturnal. Others are active during the day. The anteater's tongue extends up to two feet to scoop up a mound of ants, while the aardvark's tongue reaches only about a foot.


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