The Birth of Anteater Jesus

A female anteater at a zoo in Greenwich, Connecticut gave birth to a baby last month.

Mama anteater with baby anteater on her back (Bob Luckey – Greenwich Time)

That sounds perfectly normal.

Until you realize that female anteaters have a six month gestation period, and a male anteater hadn’t been in the same pen with her for over eight months…

The staff at the conservation center immediately got to wondering. Either this was a case of immaculate anteater conception, or [father?] Alf had somehow gotten the keys to [mother] Armani’s pen one night in October.

Three points:

1) This could be Anteater Jesus.

2) As the Get Religion blog notes, the “Immaculate Conception” doesn’t refer to the birth of Jesus. It refers to the birth of Mary.

3) Never forget that, in the face of something that appears supernatural, there’s probably a very natural explanation:

Marcella Leone, founder and director of the conservation center, has another idea. She thinks it might have been a case of delayed implantation, when fertilized eggs remain dormant in the uterus for a period of time.

Crazy woman. We know the truth. EVERYONE BOW DOWN TO ANTEATER JESUS!

(Thanks to Lauren for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Mick

    I’ll bet one of the attendants accidentally left the gate open six months ago and was too afraid to tell the boss.

    • Hat Stealer

      And thus began 2000 years of terror, brutality and madness, all in the name of… ANTEATER JESUS.

      • A3Kr0n

        You’re disrespecting my (new) religion!

    • Rain

      I’ll bet one of the attendants accidentally left the gate open six months ago and was too afraid to tell the boss.

      That actually seems like the most likely answer, lol. Occam’s razor and all that.

      • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

        Exactly. Another way to express Occam’s razor is to look for the most disappointingly banal answer, and that’s a good bet.

        It could be that this anteater has a slightly longer gestation period than the average, and the zoo keeper’s recollection of exactly when the male was in there is not quite accurate.

        The truth is mundane.

        • Rain

          Another possibility:

          “My guess is they thought they had him separated,” Belhumeur said. “We’ve seen incredible feats of breeding success. We’ve had animals breed through fences.”

          But Leone said she didn’t think that had happened. She admitted that there is a shared fence line between enclosures, but Armani and Alf “should not have been sharing that fence line during that time.”

  • meekinheritance

    This anteater jesus,
    is nothing but feces.
    And though it is shocking,
    the termites are mocking.

  • MD

    The second coming of Christ was in anteater form? We’re screwed.

  • Rain

    Nooo it’s the Antichrist! Noooooo…

    And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

    Oh noes…

    • Richard Tingley

      Let it be known that on the 23rd day of May, in the two thousand and thirteenth year of our lord, Rain has won the internet.

    • nondescript

      Oh, they meant anteaterchrist, not antichrist. Doh! Oops, typo.

  • DougI

    Dunno, I’m still worshiping the komodo dragon at the local zoo that gave a virgin birth.

    • allein

      Did you ever hear Tim Minchin’s “Woody Allen Jesus”? Jesus is a komodo dragon…(maybe).

      On a side note, I think I read too much Cute Overload…Whenever I see cute animal pictures anywhere else I find myself hovering my mouse pointer over them to see if a funny hovertext pops up… When it doesn’t I’m slightly disappointed.

  • Mark Eagleton

    Aardvark.

    • http://www.facebook.com/brian.westley Brian Westley

      Aapostate!

    • Earl G.

      Giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla).

  • Charles Honeycutt

    Now we have to retcon the Church of the FSM to account for this. Thanks a LOT, anteaters.

  • Luther

    Check on his diet. This might be a Carpenter Ant Eater. Once he rejects his mother and starts hanging out with 12 other male anteaters we should see other anteaters working on a cross. Now all that would be miraculous.

  • Major Nav

    That makes him the Ante-Christ or Anty-Christ. The translators just misspelled anti.

  • http://twitter.com/FelyxLeiter Felyx Leiter

    I can’t be the only one who wants that adorable baby anteater clinging to my back at all times.

    • Anna

      Squee! I need a baby anteater.

    • Space Cadet

      So I said to Anteater Jesus,
      “You promised me Anteater Jesus,
      That if i followed you,
      you would walk with me always.
      But i have noticed that during
      the most trying periods of my life
      there have only been one
      set of footprints in the sand.
      Why, when I needed you most,
      you have not been there for me?

      Anteater Jesus replied,
      Dude. You’re on a fucking beach.
      Do you see any ants?
      Why the fuck would I walk?
      Go somewhere that ants are plentiful
      and I will walk with you
      In the meantime, I’m clinging to your back
      so I don’t get sand in my claws.

      • http://twitter.com/FelyxLeiter Felyx Leiter

        <3

  • Anna

    Actually, parthenogenesis isn’t at all uncommon in many species. Not in mammals, though, at least not yet.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parthenogenesis#Natural_occurrence

  • David S.

    So when are they getting results from the DNA test back? If it is a clone or if Alf is the father should be pretty easy to check.

    • Reginald Selkirk

      Alf? Aliens are involved?

  • Mary Leinart

    Also, apparently mom and dad anteater share a common fence line at the zoo. It’s not impossible that the deed could happen through a fence, depending on what kind of fence it is. (That is one cute baby anteater, however it got there.)

  • Joe

    I hope it’s pathenogenic, because that would be cool. It’s not supposed to be possible in mammals, wrong chromozones or something?

  • Miss_Beara

    I hope to find Anteater Jesus on my toast.

  • Robster

    With that big baby on her back, the mum anteater is looking a bit cross.

  • Earl G.

    Who knew the second coming would be so adorable?


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