Fauna’s Toothless Wonders

  •  Tuesday, July 2nd, 2024  Animalsforkids

    One of the most glorious things about our planet is the diversity of life that breathes here. Experts estimate that there are whopping 8.7 million different species on Earth. And almost without exception, every living organism needs to “eat” to survive. While there are diverse ways organisms ingest the energy and nutrients they need (plants, for instance, get what they require from their rootsand the sun), the vast majority of animals employ their mouths. And vast majority of such animals have teeth to help them chew and bite their food so it’s easier for them to swallow. There are a few, nevertheless, that lack any teeth (and no, grandma is not being discussed here!)

    Many animals lacking teeth belong to a solitary order of animals and are termed Edentates! These animals have mouths to ingest food, but they’ve evolved a bit differently than animals with teeth. Let’s take a look at few of these toothless creatures and understand how they are still able to fill their stomachs!

    • Anteaters

    As the name suggests these funny looking creatures mostly eat ants (by sticking their tongues into ant hills and licking them up). They are famed for their large, bushy tail, long snout, and even longer tongue. Not only ants they enjoy feasting on termites too.

    • Bees

    One of nature’s most dependable pollinators does not depend on teeth to help them eat. They employ their small sticky tongue that sucks the food into their mouths. They spend their days foraging proximate plants and trees, bringing pollen back to the hive. Once they are back home, they convert it into honey and save it to eat during the cold and chilly winter months. Now that’s a really tasty winter treat!

    • Turtles

    Most turtles are sluggish moving herbivores, which means they only consume plants. Some turtles, nonetheless, are capable catching and eating insects and smaller animals like fish. The alligator snapping turtle, for instance, employs its tongue as a lure to attract fish into its mouth. Best suited name for them could be the Fishing Turtle!

    • Pangolin

    These creatures are definitely in competition for cutest animal on the planet tag! A close cousin of the anteater, their distinctive bodies are covered in keratin scales, a material that is similar to human fingernails. They are nocturnal (which means they are awake throughout the night and sleep during the day), and like their cousins, enjoy feasting on ants and termites.

    • Spiders

    These creepy crawlers have disproportionately big mouths compared to their size, with large pinchers that they employ to catch and poison their prey. Some spiders eat their prey right away after catching them, while others store them for later by wrapping them in cobwebs. Not all spiders eat only insects.