The Anteater Baby Jesus Forgives You For Touching Yourself

Illustration for article titled The Anteater Baby Jesus Forgives You For Touching Yourself

Last month, Armani, a lady anteater at the LEO Zoological Conservation Center, gave birth to little Archie and mystified zoologists/the world, who had taken it upon themselves to cockblock Armani from their male anteater, Alf. Time-wise, Armani would have conceived when Alf was safely locked away in a separate pen.

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People have not been this worked up about a paternity mystery since January Jones. The befuddled center director said: "It is our protocol that that should not happen, so it's a mystery."

Immaculate conception? God? Is that you, God?

As it turns out, it may be a rare case of delayed implantation, also known as embryonic diapause. Among the few species who are actually able to delay having their fertilized eggs attach to the uterine wall (can you imagine how useful that would be if you got pregnant while you were working on your dissertation or going on a bar crawl next week?! JK, sort of) are anteaters and armadillos.

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And an alternative theory's floating around as well, from one scientist: "It's conceivable that Armani and Alf found a way to couple through the enclosure's high-tensile fence." She goes on, accidentally describing two teenagers humping at a Phish concert in 1997.

"I have seen anteaters breed many times, but that doesn’t mean I know exactly what is going on in amongst all that hair. There is some thought that there is no actual penetration, just a lot of rubbing up together. If that is the case, then his sperm are doing all the heavy lifting on the job, and a fence would not be an insurmountable barrier."

Terrifying! I am absolutely INDIGNANT that I was lied to about the safety of outercourse.

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'The Mystery of The Immaculately Conceived Baby Anteater' [The Atlantic]
'Virgin birth or hanky-panky? Anteater mom sparks science debate' [NBC News]

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DISCUSSION

The More You Know: "Immaculate Conception" refers to Mary (the mother), not Jesus (the child). Mary had to be without sin in order to give birth to the messiah, and since everyone is born with Original Sin according to the Church, she therefore had to be "immaculately conceived."

Mary's lack of sin was also the basis for the dogma of the Assumption, which was established by fiat of Pius XII invoking papal infallibility, which declared that Mary just sort of spontaneously ascended to heaven; she never actually died (although they were smart enough to not actually declare that she never died, just in case they are wrong, having been burned so badly by all that heliocentricity stuff) — but the origins of it long predate its official establishment by the church.

Islam borrowed this idea for Muhammad's "night flight" to the "farthest mosque," by means of his unicorn, Buraq, and from there directly to heaven.