Join our zoo community

Which mammal interests you more: The numbat or the giant anteater? (poll)

Discussion in 'Zoo Cafe' started by Onychorhynchus coronatus, 26 Oct 2020.

?

Which mammal interests you more: The numbat or the giant anteater?

  1. Numbat

    12 vote(s)
    60.0%
  2. Giant anteater

    8 vote(s)
    40.0%
  1. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2019
    Posts:
    5,653
    Location:
    Brazil
    Another poll in a series for zoochatters to vote for one of two EDGE mammal species. This time it is a clash of the convergents and a contest of little vs large for these two animals.

    Both species feed upon ants and termites, are largely solitary and are endangered: the numbat and the giant anteater.

    Which of these mammal species interests you most / will you vote for ?

    Please also feel free to write comments regarding why you made the choice and why the species you have voted for interests you more.

    Thanks !

    Look forward to seeing the results!
     
  2. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2019
    Posts:
    5,653
    Location:
    Brazil
    Voted for the giant anteater because I have quite a strong affection and interest for this species having worked with it ex-situ and to some extent in-situ.

    That said, the numbat is fascinating and I would dearly love to learn more about this little marsupial.

    Has anyone here on Zoochat worked with the numbat or seen them in the wild ?

    Also, does anyone have any personal experiences, facts or stories that they would like to share on this thread regarding this species ?
     
    Last edited: 27 Oct 2020
  3. marmolady

    marmolady Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    20 Feb 2011
    Posts:
    367
    Location:
    Australia
    I voted for giant anteater. Being in Australia, anteaters generally are a huge novelty, and to see them would be quite exciting.

    I do love numbats. I've seen them at Cleland Wildlife Park many years ago and found them to be enchanting little animals.
     
  4. AWP

    AWP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    31 Aug 2017
    Posts:
    436
    Location:
    the Netherlands
    Both amazing animals, but I have seen giant anteaters dozens of times, so it isn't that special anymore to me. So I voted for the numbat.

    I saw my first anteaters (both giant and southern tree) in 2001 in Dortmund. I could have seen giant anteater somewhat earlier, but it was a no-show in both Hellabrunn and Schönbrunn. I think it was still a rare species in Europe at that time. Nowadays there is quite a number of zoos that keeps giant anteater.

    I have only seen one living numbat, at Perth Zoo. On the field of zoo animals, the numbat was together with platypus the main objective for my last visit to Australia. When I arrived at the enclosure, no numbat was visible but after waiting a couple of minutes one appeared and was quite showy.

    I haven't seen giant anteater or numbat in the wild, but I did see a northern tamandua. During an early morning walk through the forest bordering the golf courses of Raddison Summit in Panama, I heard some noises up in a tree. I was hoping for tamarins, as I was searching for them and little capybaras (but couldn't find either of them after all), but didn't see any animal at first glance. I walked further, but then something big (a large fruit of part of a ant/termite nest) fell on the ground. When I looked up, I saw an tamandua appearing between the branches and leaves!
     
  5. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2019
    Posts:
    5,653
    Location:
    Brazil
    Thank you for your comment @marmolady !

    I can well imagine, are giant anteaters quite rare in zoos in Australia ?

    I'm very fond of numbats too and I definitely feel like I need to familiarise myself more on them and do some reading about their conservation situation at some point.
     
  6. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2019
    Posts:
    5,653
    Location:
    Brazil
    Thank you for your reply @AWP !

    I know from your comments in one of my previous threads that you are a big fan of marsupials so I must say that it doesn't come as a suprise that you voted for the numbat in this poll (great choice too!).

    The numbat is a beautiful little animal and you are very lucky to have seen one as I would dearly like to see one of these in either the wild or captivity. I can quite understand why you took a trip to Australia to see this species and the others that you mention.

    As I mentioned in my previous comment I do feel (like with most Australian marsupials) that I just don't know enough about them and that I need to do more reading about their conservation situation.
     
    Last edited: 29 Oct 2020
  7. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2019
    Posts:
    5,653
    Location:
    Brazil
    It is brilliant to hear about your experience with the tamandua ! I bet it was a treat seeing him in the wild in Panama wasn't it ? Especially considering that it was a total suprise to encounter him.

    Yes, the giant anteater does seem to have become quite common / standard zoo animals in institutions in Europe and North America. Here in Brazil and Latin America they are fairly common in zoos too and they are often rescued animals that can't be rehabilitated back to the wild because of injuries or things like that.

    Personally I've seen giant anteater in the wild / done research on them too and on numerous occasions and have worked with them in captivity closely. I do prefer to see them in the wild though as they are a totally different animal seen in these conditions to what they are in captive situations.

    A couple of annecdotes for you. In a zoo where I once worked I spent some time taking care of a little orphaned giant anteater and carrying him around and taking him to hunt termites. It was the most bizarre thing to experience him licking my face like a pet dog with that huge tongue not to mention him putting his tongue up my nose in my ears etc which was extremely weird! I should mention though that they can be really quite unpredictable and dangerous in some ways and when they are bad tempered (which can happen suprisingly quickly as they are very temperamental) they can get a bit "punchy". This is quite frightening to witness when it happens given that their claws are as sharp as ice picks.

    I've often seen the little tamandua in the wild and also worked with them in zoos and they are also have big characters. I remember one time being inside an enclosure with one and I needed to pick this individual up to move him out of the way so I scooped him up (you pick them up under their arms like a human baby to avoid the claws). He became enraged with me when I placed him back down and started walking towards me upright on his hind legs with his arms outstretched like a little Frankenstein's monster. I was sure he was going to attack / scratch me. I picked up his food bowl quickly which was on a shelf and put it between me and him so I could back out of the enclosure ASAP and he just lost interest and directed his attention to his food (they are beautiful but really not the most intelligent animals).
     
    Last edited: 29 Oct 2020
    Jungle Man and AWP like this.
  8. AWP

    AWP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    31 Aug 2017
    Posts:
    436
    Location:
    the Netherlands
    According to the thread about exotic mammals in Australia, the last giant anteater in the country died in 1990 in Adelaide Zoo.
     
  9. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2019
    Posts:
    5,653
    Location:
    Brazil
    Wow !

    So there are actually literally no longer any giant anteaters in captivity on the Australian continent at all.

    I had no idea about this situation and always assumed there would be one or two in one of the bigger Australian zoos.
     
  10. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2019
    Posts:
    5,653
    Location:
    Brazil
    Interesting to see that the giant anteater is catching up quickly with the numbat in the poll...
     
  11. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2019
    Posts:
    5,653
    Location:
    Brazil
    Looks like I didn't set a time limit to the poll, my bad, so it is going to appear as an eternal battle between the numbat and the anteater.

    But I'm going to just say that the poll has finished and give this one to the numbat which won narrowly by a single point.

    Thank you to everyone who voted in the poll and here is a video of one of these charmling and endangered little marsupials by the Australian wildlife conservancy.