As its common name suggests, the giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) is the largest of the living anteaters and is instantly recognised around the world. They are strange-looking animals, with the body roughly divided into three equal regions: the long nose and head, the body and the tail. Beneath the skin of the long nose is a bone tube formed by the fusion of the upper and lower jaw. The nose houses an impressively long, sticky tongue, which can measure up to 50 centimeters in length. They are protected from the bites of soldier ants and termites by their rubbery skin and very long hairs, which can measure up to 45 centimeters in length. A black stripe runs from beneath the snout to the mid-torso and is banded by white or cream. The front feet bear huge claws and giant anteaters walk on their knuckles with their claws folded up into their palms for protection. Male and female anteaters look so alike that females can only be identified when they are accompanied by their offspring
Grassland savannas, deciduous woodlands and rainforests.
The majority of the diet is made up of ants and termites, which are detected by smell. An individual may eat up to 30,000 ants in one day
The giant anteater's range extends from the southern tip of Mexico to Uruguay and northwestern Argentina, although the highest densities are found in South America. They are found in all regions of Brazil but are very rare or locally extinct in highly disturbed areas and are commonly found in protected areas.
The giant anteater is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (2011)., Listed on Appendix II of CITES (2002).
Giant anteaters are predominantly solitary, except for mothers and their offspring. A single offspring is produced after a gestation period of 190 days. Young are weaned after two months, although they may continue to be carried on their mother's back until they are nine months old.
measure up to 50 centimeters in length
Update : 06 April 2017