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Anteaters Sloths and Armadillos: Xenarthra - Diet

eat leaves day insects

Sloths are primarily herbivores, eating mostly leaves and twigs. Anteaters are insectivores, feeding mainly on insects. Armadillos are omnivores; their diet includes plants, insects, and other animals.

Sloths sleep most of the day and spend about seven hours eating. They develop a taste for the leaves that their mothers eat. This is because the mother sloth carries the cub with her. The young sloth feeds itself by reaching for leaves in the trees where its mother eats. The sloth diet includes leaves, flowers, buds, and twigs. Two-toed sloths may also eat bird eggs and insects.

The anteater's name describes its diet. A giant anteater must consume about 30,000 ants each day. The tamandua eats about 9,000 a day, and the silky anteater can eat 5,000 ants in a day. Giant anteaters and tamandua also consume termites. If tamandua can't locate ants and termites, they feed on bees, honey, and small fruit. The pygmy anteater eats beetles and fruit.

Armadillos eat plants and dig into the ground to find insects and worms to eat. They also eat small animals like snakes and frogs. Diet is based on habitat.

Anteaters Sloths and Armadillos: Xenarthra - Behavior And Reproduction [next] [back] Anteaters Sloths and Armadillos: Xenarthra - Habitat

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