Anteater Gives Birth Without Mating

An anteater in Connecticut has given birth to a healthy baby boy. What is remarkable about this occurrence is that the new mother in question had not been in contact with a male anteater since August. The gestation period of anteaters is six months long, making her last meeting with a male too long ago to be responsible for the pregnancy.

How Armani the anteater got pregnant is a mystery to biologists and the people who run the conservation center where the mysterious birth took place. She previously lived with a male of her species, named Alf. Last August, Armani gave birth to a female pup that was named Alice. Since male anteaters often eat the young, workers at the center moved Alf out of the pen.

That was eight months before Armani gave girth once more, in April –– this time to a baby boy named Archie. The strange birth took place at the LEO Zoological Conservation Center in the upscale town of Greenwich, CT, and has the area buzzing with the news.

Marcella Leone, the founder and director of the center, explained that Alf and Armani should not have been able to mate, adding that how the pregnancy came about is still unknown, although she suspects it may have been a case of delayed implantation. Such a process has been known to occur in armadillos, which are in the same family as anteaters.

Therefore, Leone said, "It's been presumed that giant anteaters can do this as well."

There are even some people who are referring to this strange event as a case of immaculate conception.

But not everyone believes that Armani conceived in either of these manners. Stacey Belhumeur, a species survival plan coordinator for giant anteaters, proposes a far simpler solution.

She says, "My guess is they thought they had him separated... We've had animals breed through fences." Relatively little is known in academic circles about the mating capabilities of anteaters, but many people who spend time around the animals state that such a mating would be possible. Belhumeur also added that the earlier birth would have cleared everything out of Armani's womb, including a second fertilized egg.

Armani and Archie are both healthy and doing fine, according to reports.

No matter how Armani got pregnant, little Archie is now a star.

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