Anteater Gives Birth Despite No Apparent Male Partner

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The birth of an anteater has puzzled staff at the LEO Zoological Conservation Center in Greenwich, Conn., because its mother has not had a male mating partner recently, according to the Daily Mail U.K.



Armani and Alf lived together at the zoo until last August. That's when the zoo removed Alf from the enclosure because they feared he would kill their offspring, Alice. It's not unusual for male anteaters to kill their firstborns.

Armani and Alice have been alone for the nine months since then, until Armani gave birth last month to a male anteater named Archie. But the gestation period for anteaters is six months. Alf had been gone for eight months.

The numbers don't add up.

Marcella Leone, the conservation center's founder and director, says science can offer an explanation for the unusual birth. She believes it is a rare case of delayed implantation, when fertilized eggs remain dormant in the uterus for a period of time.

But Stacey Belhumeur, species survival plan coordinator for the North American population of giant anteaters, and a zookeeper at Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, Ariz., is skeptical about the possibility of a delayed implantation. Belhumeur told the Greenwich (Conn.) Times that although delayed implantation has been observed in some marsupials, it's unlikely in anteaters, and especially in Armani's case, because she had just given birth to Alice when Alf was moved.

"When she gives birth, her entire uterus is going to clear out," Belhumeur said. "Anything that's in her uterus, even another undeveloped embryo, would clear out."

Belhumeur claims the more likely scenario is that Armani and Alf were able to reconnect despite the zoo's best efforts. "We've seen incredible feats of breeding success," Belhumeur said. "We've had animals breed through fences."

No formal scientific study was conducted and Archie's birth came as a complete surprise, so the truth probably will never be known. The only thing we know for sure is that Archie is one special anteater.

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Cindy Betris

had to be one of the zookeepers

May 21 2013 at 5:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
munjibunga

How come one picture shows an aardvark and the other shows an anteater?

May 21 2013 at 2:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ev4christ

Mrs Anteater did not confess her extra marital affair to her husband. He fell for it - he's uneducated. But how did the zoo keepers fall for it?
Did you see that little baby. That is a face only a mother can love. I say, she is still cute.

May 21 2013 at 1:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ev4christ

Mrs. Anteater did not confess to her husband about the extra marital affair. Of course, he fell for it, he's uneducated. How did the zoo keepers fall for it? Did you see that little baby - only a mother could love that face.

May 21 2013 at 1:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
globeskater170

it will be a sacred ant eater that will be born

May 21 2013 at 12:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
filmnd

She's lying so her ex doesn't find out she had sex with another!

May 21 2013 at 12:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
filmnd

Probably had sex with another anteater and is lying so her ex doesn't find out.

May 21 2013 at 12:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Major

I heard they renamed it Mary.

May 20 2013 at 11:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Major's comment
Gary Markette

The Immaculate Conception has nothing to do with the Virgin Birth (two different Christian myths), The term "Immaculate Conception" refers to Mary's birth without Original Sin ("In Adam's fall; We Sinned all.") The Virgin Birth refers to Mary's apparently miraculous impregnation while still technically a Virgin. (Not that unusual a phenomenon at all; a small tear in the hymen from any number of causes, some heavy petting, and presto!)

May 21 2013 at 8:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lar62x

whats the zookeeper been doing?

May 20 2013 at 10:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Adam Smith

The picture on the page that led me her is an aardvark, not an anteater.

May 20 2013 at 8:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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