Demetrius, Pinchy One & Pinchy Two,
our Giant Anteaters

DESCRIPTION

The giant anteater can be identified by its large size, elongated muzzle and long tail.

It has a total body length of 182–217 cm (5.97–7.12 ft).

Males weigh 33–41 kg (73–90 lb) and females weigh 27–39 kg (60–86 lb), making the giant anteater the largest extant species in its suborder.

The head of the giant anteater, at 30 cm (12 in) long, is particularly elongated, even when compared to other anteaters.

Its tubular snout, which ends in its tiny mouth opening and nostrils, takes up most of its head. Its eyes and ears are relatively small.

It has poor eyesight, but its sense of smell is 40 times more sensitive than that of humans.

HABITAT

The giant anteater is native to Central and South America. Its known range stretches from Honduras to northern Argentina, and fossil remains have been found as far north as northwestern Sonora, Mexico.

It is largely absent from the Andes and has been   extirpated in Uruguay.

It may also be extirpated in Belize, Costa Rica and Guatemala.The species can be found in a number of habitats including both tropical rainforests and xeric shrublands, provided enough prey is present to sustain it.

DIET

This animal is an insectivore, feeding mostly on ants or termites. Anteaters track prey by their scent.

After finding a nest, the animal tears it open with its long foreclaws and inserts its long, sticky tongue to collect its prey.

An anteater spends one minute on average feeding at a nest, visiting up to 200 nests in one day and consuming as many as 30,000 individuals.

WHERE DO THEY LIVE?

giant anteater

CONSERVATION STATUS

red-list-status