Giant Anteater

Characteristics

Range: Parts of Central America to parts of South America

Habitat: Tropical forests, savannah, and grasslands

Giant anteaters are the largest of the four anteater species; giant anteater, silky anteater, northern tamandua, southern or lesser tamandua. Anteaters have no teeth, instead they have a 2 foot long specialized tongue which allows the anteater to easily eat up to 30,000 ants and termite every day. The Giant Anteater’s sense of smell is 40 times more powerful than humans!

Behavior

Giant Anteaters are solitary, except for mothers and their offspring.Offspring are carried on their mother’s back, aligned with the white stripe, so that they are very well camouflaged.

Anteaters walk on their “fists” so they can keep their claws sharp for digging into termite mounds.  Claws are also used in defense – they have been known to fight off large predators like jaguar.

Conservation

Project Tamandua works for the preservation of anteater, sloths, and armadillos in Brazil, www.tamandua.org