Which Types Of Mammals Consume Termites?
It goes without saying that humans in many parts of the world consume termites. Termites are considered one of the healthiest, tastiest and most prized types of edible insect. In addition to humans, there are obviously several types of animals that hunt and consume termites. When considering different types of termite predators, other insects and birds quickly come to mind. It is also well known that many types of snakes and lizards consume termites, but what about mammals? Other than humans, the only mammal that may come to mind as a predator of termites is the anteater. However, there are several mammals that occasionally feed on termites as termites are rich in phosphates, fats and proteins. Some mammals receive a bulk of their nutritional needs from termites. The most common mammalian predator of termites are bats.
Insect-eating bats (Chiroptera) are highly skilled termite-hunters. These bats feed on termites that swarm at dusk and during the nighttime hours. Bats have been found darting toward groups of swarming termites with unique precision. In addition to bats, both foxes and bears have also been found consuming termites. The Indian fox will wait for flying termite alates to emerge from their underground nests through holes in the ground. Termites are a preferred source of food among Himalayan black bears, but it is the sloth bear (Melursus ursinus) that seems to hunt down termite meals with the greatest degree of enthusiasm. Sloth bears will put forth a substantial amount of effort in order to locate and consume a multitude of termites. The sloth bear finds termite-meals by locating termite mounds. Once a mound is located, this bear will use its sharp claws to pull the mound apart, resulting in the complete destruction of a mound. The mound-dwelling termites are then “sucked up from their galleries” in order to satisfy the bear’s craving for termites.
Have you ever encountered an abandoned termite mound that looked to have been attacked by a larger mammalian animal?