6 Top Difference Between Armadillo and Anteater with Similarities

What is the difference between armadillo and anteater?

Armadillo and anteaters have remained few due to poaching. Although the two animals possess some similarities, they differ from each other. They are both mammals although they belong to different families.

The main difference between an armadillo and an anteater is that an armadillo has an external covering made up of overlapping plates covering the head, body, and tail while the anteater does not have one.

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Difference Between Armadillo and Anteater

Comparison Table (Armadillo vs Anteater)

Characteristics Armadillo Anteater
Classification They belong in the order Cingulata. They belong in the order Pilosa.
Species They are classified into 9 species. They are classified into 4 species.
Geographical location They are found in America only. They are found in America, Uruguay, Southern Mexico, Eastern Brazil, and South America.
Habitat They inhabit warm areas especially closer to the equator. They inhabit rainforests, dry tropical forests, grasslands, and savannah.
What they feed on They feed on insects, larvae, ants, termites. They feed on major insects.
External covering They have a shell made up of overlapping plates covering the head, body, tail, and legs. They do not have external covering.

What is Armadillo?

Armadillo is an animal that belongs to the order Cingulata. There are various species of armadillo. They prefer living in warm places especially near the equator for them to be warmer as they do not have a layer of fats on their bodies to insulate them. They are mainly found in America.

They are barrel-shaped, have short legs but they have the ability to move very fast. They have long sharp claws for digging. They have an external covering made up of overlapping plates covering their body which protect them from their predators. They also have long, sticky tongues and pointed snouts which enable them to catch insects.

They have a gestation period of between 2 to 5 months. The eggs are fertilized but they experience a delay in implantation. After that, the zygote may divide and give rise to four offspring. They give birth in burrows.

What is Anteater?

It is a mammal species in order Pilosa. They prefer living in dry areas including tropical forests, grasslands, savannah, and rainforests. They are found in America, Uruguay, Southern Mexico, Eastern Brazil, and South America.

They have a thin tongue, an elongated snout that enables them to catch insects easily. Their mouths are tubular in shape but they do not have teeth. Their foreclaws are curved to enable them to tear the mounds of soil build by the termites.

Their fur is dense and this protects them from insects. They have poor eyesight but they have a very sharp sense of smell which helps them in feeding, foraging, and defense. They majorly feed on insects.

They mate during summer. Their gestation period is 6 months. They give birth to one offspring of which they suckle. After birth, the young one climbs the mother’s back up to the time it reaches 1 year.

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Main Difference between Armadillo and Anteater

  1. Armadillos inhabit warm places while anteaters inhabit dry places.
  2. Armadillo gives birth to more than one offspring while anteaters give birth to only one offspring.
  3. Armadillo has external covering to protect themselves against predators while anteaters do not have external covering.
  4. Armadillos are found in America only while anteaters are found in America, Uruguay, Southern Mexico, Eastern Brazil, and South America.
  5. Armadillos feed on ants and termites but can also feed on plant matter while anteaters majorly feed on insects.

Similarities between Armadillo and Anteater

  1. They both have long, sticky tongues with pointed snouts.
  2. They both have poor eyesight but with a sharp sense of smell.
  3. Both feed on ants and termites.
  4. Both reproduce sexually.

In Conclusion

Armadillos and anteaters are both animals but from different orders. Armadillo has an external covering made up of overlapping plates covering the head, body, tail, and legs which protects them from their predators. Anteaters have thick fur that protects them from attacks from insects. The main difference between armadillo and anteater is the external covering.

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