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Anteater


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Giant Anteater, Santa Babera Zoo
Giant Anteater seaching for food
A Northern Tamandua anteater (Tamandua mexicana), Costa Rica
Giant Anteater, Santa Babera Zoo
Giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), Copenhagen Zoo, Denmark
Anteaters are found throughout the Southern Hemisphere but are more common in Africa, Asia and parts of Australia. The name anteater is given to any medium size insect eating mammal such as the giant anteater, the collared anteater, the silky anteater, the spiny anteater and the echidna which is native to Australia.

The average anteater is nearly a meter in length although some species can be bigger (like the giant anteater that gets to nearly 2m long), where others can be smaller (like the silky anteater that only grows to around 30 cm).

The giant anteater is found in parts of central and south America where it inhabits grasslands, forests, jungles and even the lower mountain regions. The giant anteater is known to be able to consume more than 30,000 insects (mainly termites) every day!

The giant anteater is the largest of four anteater species and can be five to seven feet long from nose to tail. The giant anteater has a narrow head, a long nose, small eyes and round ears.

The giant anteater has coarse hair which can be grey or brown in colour, with a white-banded black stripe running along the giant anteater\'s body. The giant anteater also has a long, bushy tail which can be two to three feet long.

The giant anteater\'s front feet have large claws, which are curled under when the giant anteater walks. Although the giant anteater has poor vision the giant anteater is able to detect food using its keen sense of smell.

Despite their soft appearance, anteaters are more than ready to defend themselves against predators and have been known to become very aggressive towards them. Anteaters primarily use their powerful legs and long claws to warn off larger animals including cougars, jaguars and even humans.

Female anteaters give birth to a single baby after a gestation period of around 6 months. The baby anteaters spend their first couple of years with their mother and usually become independent when she is pregnant again. In order to remain safe from waiting predators on the ground, baby anteaters spend much of their nursing period clinging to the back of their mother.

Today, the giant anteater population numbers are declining mainly due to habitat loss and over-hunting by humans. Although considered vulnerable animals, the giant anteater is not thought to be in immediate danger of extinction but recent reports indicate that there may be less than 5,000 giant anteater individuals left in the wild.


Anteater Comments (12)

Beau

":O) I LOVE ANTEATERS"

beau

"I love AntEaters "

josephine

"thanks your website really helped me for school."

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Anteater Translations

Bulgarian български език
Голям мравояд
 
Catalan Català
Ós formiguer
 
Czech Cesky
Mravenečník velký
 
Danish Dansk
Stor myresluger
 
German Deutsch
Großer Ameisenbär
 
English English
Giant Anteater
 
Spanish Español
Myrmecophaga tridactyla
 
Finnish Suomi
Isomuurahaiskarhu
 
French Français
Tamanoir
 
Hungarian Magyar
Sörényes hangyász
 
Italian Italiano
Myrmecophaga tridactyla
 
Japanese 日本語
オオアリクイ
 
Dutch Nederlands
Reuzenmiereneter
 
Norwegian Norsk
Kjempemaursluker
 
Polish Polski
Mrówkojad wielki
 
Portuguese Português
Tamanduá-bandeira
 
Swedish Svenska
Jättemyrslok
 
Chinese 中文
大食蟻獸
 

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Anteater Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things...
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom...
Chordata
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum...
Mammalia
Order:
A group of animals within a class...
Xenarthra
Family:
A group of animals within an order...
Myrmecophagidae
Genus:
A group of animals within a family...
Tamandua
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species...
Myrmecophaga Tridactyla
Type:
The animal group that the species belongs to...
Mammal
Diet:
What kind of foods the animal eats...
Omnivore
Size (L):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is...
0.9m - 2.1m (3ft - 7ft)
Weight:
The measurement of how heavy the animal is...
18kg - 40kg (40lbs - 88lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal...
30km/h (18mph)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for...
9 - 20 years
Lifestyle:
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable...
Solitary
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct...
Threatened
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings...
Brown, Grey, Black, Tan
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal...
Fur
Favourite Food:Ants
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives...
Forest and grasslands
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once...
1
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from...
Ants, Termites, Insects
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal...
Puma, Snakes, Jaguar
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to the animal...
Elongated snout and long sticky tongue

Related Animals

ArmadilloArmadillo
Can curl into a hard, protective ball!
EchidnaEchidna
Also known as the Spiny Anteater!