In the animal realm, it is always time for chow time, and although some species just gorge themselves on whatever they kill, others spend a little bit more time to prepare a meal. In point of fact, several of their practises are quite similar to the methods that are used in human kitchens. An animal’s culinary repertoire does not include food processors, knives, blenders, or canning equipment; nevertheless, they do use some fairly clever ways that seem to function just as well. The following is a list of the 10 most peculiar animal gourmets, each of which demonstrates that it is capable of executive-level cooking in its own manner, from a bird that skewers its meal to one that has a very fascinating method of preserving food.
1 . Giant Anteater
Giant anteaters may seem to be like vacuum cleaners because of the way they gather ants like crumbs with one huge sniff of their snouts, but in reality, it is not nearly that simple for them to do so. These big beasts must first use their claws to pry apart a colony or the trunk of a tree before they can catch a meal. They have to move fast from there because the little insects they’re dining on aren’t going to give up without a fight and may sting them.
Anteaters do not snort ants as one may think they do since what seem to be very long nostrils are really their jaws. Instead, they utilise the length of their tongues to sift through the dirt and find their prey. The Smithsonian National Zoo (SNZ) reports that giant anteaters have tongues that are 2 feet (.6 metres) long, and since their saliva serves as adhesive, it is simple for them to swiftly collect up their little prey. This facilitates their feeding behaviour. Anteaters do not have teeth; rather, they have hard growths on the inside of their mouths that function like food processors and smash insects as they are eaten by the anteater. According to SNZ, it has been shown that some species of anteaters are capable of ingesting tiny stones, which then continue the crushing process inside of their stomachs. Because gigantic anteaters may consume several thousand insects in only a few minutes during a single meal, they want as much help in the kitchen as they can get.
2. Leafcutter Ant
The process by which leafcutter ants prepare their meal is distinct from that used by other kinds of ants. In point of fact, the Lincoln Park Zoo (LPZ), which is located in Chicago, claims that these ants are the first creatures that are known to produce their own crops in the manner of farmers. They got their name from the fact that they can cut leaves off of trees using their mandibles, which are shaped like scissors. After the leaves have been trimmed, each worker ant will take a leaf back to the colony, where it will be placed to a mound that resembles a compost heap. The excrement or saliva of the worker ants is then added to the leaves, where it serves as a form of fertiliser to encourage the growth of fungus on the leaves. After some time, they feed the ant larvae the fungus that was produced. Adult ants gorge themselves on the sap that is also generated from the leaves, while younger ants consume the fungus that is rich in nutrients.
3. Nursery Web Spider
The courtship dance performed by the male nursery web spider contains a blueprint for a happy ending. This eight-legged Casanova understands that it takes more than simply turning up on a female spider’s web in order to mate with her, so he goes out of his way to wow her. The spider will take an insect that has been trapped in its web and carefully encase it in silk, as if it were a priceless present. After the male nursery web spider has located a potential partner, he will take the bug that has been encased in silk and give it to his intended as a gift. During the time that the female nursery web spider is preoccupied with devouring and being distracted by this delectable feast, the male nursery web spider makes his move and mates with her. It is possible that a male spider may wrap itself around a non-edible item such as a tiny rock if it is unable to find an insect to consume in times of extreme need. The female will still take this present, but the male has to move quickly because she will attack once she discovers his deceit when she unwraps the offering and sees that he has lied to her.
Crocodiles are one of the most easily identifiable animals due to their distinctive smiles; nevertheless, these scaly reptiles have never been taught basic table manners and do not properly chew the food that they consume using their teeth. Instead, they make use of the huge chompers they have to seize their prey and hold it in a death grip before devouring it in its whole. Obviously, this strategy is only effective on smaller creatures, so when confronted with bigger prey, crocodiles resort to using their teeth and jaws as blenders. They will grind up their enormous meals until the food has been broken down into more manageable chunks, and if they consume hard-shelled species, their teeth will work like nutcrackers and shatter the shells in order to get to the meaty heart of their meal.
5. Red Squirrel
When winter rations begin to run short, this bushy-tailed woodland critter has one more trick under its bushy-tailed nut-and-grain-collecting snout. Just like its grey cousin, the red squirrel harvests nuts and grains throughout the summer and autumn in preparation for the coming winter. It first makes holes in the bark of a maple tree by biting into the tree’s side, and then it waits for the delicious maple syrup to trickle down from the tree’s core. The red squirrel will come back once the syrup has had time to dry on the bark of the tree so that it may taste the tasty residue. This is an excellent survival strategy, according to Bernd Heinrich, a naturalist and author of “Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival,” because the syrup provides a needed boost of energy during the winter when other food sources are scarce. Heinrich wrote the book “Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival.”
6. Japanese Macaque
Do not assume that the Japanese macaque will consume whatever food it finds on the ground just because it picked it up. This particular animal is much more cultured than the typical monkey. The Japanese macaque, sometimes known as a snow monkey, is a tiny primate that is indigenous to Japan. It consumes a wide range of foods, including plants, insects, and fruits, among other things. The fact that these critters clean their food before consuming it is one of the things that makes dinner with them so fascinating. The researchers made this observation after luring a troop of macaques with sweet potatoes and leaving them on the beach. The other macaques quickly followed the example set by one of the females, who picked up a potato, immersed it in water, and then proceeded to eat it. The salt in the ocean water not only helps to clean the food, but it also adds a flavorful element to it. Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto would give this dish his stamp of approval.
7. Northern Shrike
Anyone who has ever had corn on the cob is aware of how helpful those small skewers in the form of corn are in making it simpler to chow down, and one ingenious bird adopts a strategy that is comparable to this in order to manage its meals. The Northern Shrike is a songbird that can be found largely in southern Canada and the northern United States. It is known for its unique hunting technique, which involves capturing insects and other small vertebrates and then skewering them on thorns, prickly stalks, or even barbed wire fences. Because they are sharp, these things make it much simpler for the shrike to consume, as he may cut off what he wants to eat into smaller pieces and then come back for more later. According to research conducted by Cornell University, the shrike employs a similar strategy in order to consume venomous insects. After sliding its prey onto the skewer, it waits a few days for the poisons to dry out before returning to feast on its capture. After this process, the victim is no longer poisonous.
8. Burying Beetle
Because this beetle’s approach to meal preparation is so novel, the insect itself was given its name from the procedure. The method that the burying beetle employs is conceptually analogous to the ways in which a person may preserve foods by canning or freezing, with the goal of maintaining the food’s freshness while preventing the development of microorganisms. The beetle will instantly begin the process of preparing the food for its offspring if it comes across a dead bird or rodent. To begin, it coats the corpse with mouth secretions, which are antibacterial and antifungal and halt the process of decomposition by inhibiting the growth of germs and fungi. The next step is for the beetle to dig a hole for the corpse and then line it with the fur or feathers that it has removed from the deceased animal. After that, it places the preserved corpse inside the tomb and excavates a nest for its own young beetles directly next door, making it convenient for the larvae to feast on the body. This whole process of preserving only takes around eight hours, making your grandmother’s canning operations that last all day seem like an eternity in comparison.
There is no way a list concerning animals and food could be considered complete without at least one mention of the honeybee. This worker bee, also known as the striped bee, is the only insect that creates food that can be consumed by humans, which is why it has been given the nickname “worker bee.” Honey is produced when worker honeybees take nectar from flowers, bring it back to the hive, and begin the process of turning it into honey by removing water from the nectar. Field honeybees are responsible for gathering nectar from flowers and bringing it back to the hive. Because they have to consume the nectar and then regurgitate it many times before it can be considered honey, this process might take quite some time. Honeybees, along with the other creatures on this list, are evidence that being an animal gourmet is difficult work, but that the rewards are often more than worthwhile.