The tamandua, a species
of tropical anteater, uses a prehensile tail to anchor itself in the
lofty treetops. A tamandua spends most of its time high above the
forest floor, searching for ants and termites in the leafy canopy. After detecting its prey by scent, the tamandua will slash at the
ant or termite nest with its long, sharp claws to expose the tiny
The tamandua then extends its 16 inch-long tongue out from its tiny
mouth, which is only the diameter of a pencil, and into the nest.
This tongue is coated in a sticky mucus that ensnares the insects,
allowing the tamandua to draw them back into its mouth. The
tamandua may thrash its long tongue up to 150 times per minute in
the nest to whip the prey rapidly into its awaiting mouth. All in
all, a single tamandua may eat upwards of 9000 insects each and
every day in this fashion.