FACTS – MAMMALS IV
Many mammals are diggers, building their homes beneath the ground. Some only use their burrows to sleep in, other live underground.
Most rabbits dig burrows, called warrens, underground to protect themselves from enemies, to shelter from cold, and to provide a safe place for their babies. European rabbits live in large groups. Rabbit warrens are often a maze of tunnels.
Hares are relatives of the rabbits but have longer ears. Males can sometimes be seen boxing each other to win females. They stand on their back legs, hitting out with the front ones. Hares do not actually live underground, they live in hollows they make with their bodies in the earth.
This animal has a body like a pig, ears like a rabbit, and it licks up ants like an anteater, but it is not related to any of this animals! It is very good burrower digging long tunnels with its claws.
Armadillos look as if they could take on an army with their bony armoured backs.. They dig burrows to find food and make dens. Most rest in their in burrows during the day and hunt by night.
Badgers have short legs that are good for scurrying down tunnels. Their burrows, known as setts, are passed down through generations of badgers. They tend to hunt at night. Badgers have quite large, stocky bodies, and small heads with long noses to root our food. Badgers have poor eyesight but a good sense of smell.
You will know when European moles are about because they live mole hills behind on the ground. Moles spend most of their lives under-ground eating worms and insects.
INSECTS- EATING MAMMALS
Many small mammals spend their lives eating insects and other small creepy crawlies. Most of them only hunt at night.
THE GIANT ANTEATER
Giant anteaters are large mammal that like to eats ants and termites. They have a large nose and a tongue that is as long as your arm, perfectly for sticking into termite mounds.
- SCALY ANTEATERS
Sometimes called a scaly anteater, this pangolin is not actually related to anteaters. It uses its long claws to dig out anthills and termite mounds.
- SILKY ANTEATERS
The silky anteaters has a shorter nose and a paler fur than its cousins. It spends much of its time digging out tree ants and licking them up.
- SMALL AND PRICKLY
Hedgehogs use their long noses to snuffle in the earth for insects and worms. They are covered in sharp spines that are made of a kind of hair. If this creature feels threatened it rolls its body into prickly ball. Not many animals would attempt to eat a spiny hedgehog!
- THE SPINY ECHIDNA
The insect-eating echidna is also covered in spines. It is one of the most unusual animals because, with the duck-billed platypus, it is one of the only mammals that lays eggs.
Shrews are small, active mammals that have to eat a diet of of insects and worms every few hours to keep their energy up. They can eat more than their weight in food everyday.
- SHREW SENSES
A shrew uses its very good senses of smell and hearing to find food, such as insects and earthworms.