A Tamandua anteater in Costa Rica Photograph by Dirk van der Made
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Anteater

Anteaters are mammals of 4 species of the order Xenarthra and the family Myrmecophagidae, commonly known for eating ants and termites. more...

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The largest representative of the group is the Giant Anteater or Ant-bear (Myrmecophaga tridactyla or jubata), an animal measuring 4 feet (1.2 m) in length without the tail, and 2 feet (60 cm) in height at the shoulder. It has a long, thin head and a large, bushy tail. Its prevailing color is grey, with a broad black band, bordered with white, starting on the chest, and passing obliquely over the shoulder, diminishing gradually in breadth as it approaches the loins, where it ends in a point.

It is extensively distributed in the tropical parts of South and Central America, frequenting low swampy savannas, along the banks of rivers, and the depths of the humid forests, but is nowhere abundant.

Its food consists mainly of termites, which it obtains by opening their nests with its powerful sharp anterior (front) claws. As the insects swarm to the damaged part of their dwelling, it draws them into its mouth by means of its long, flexible, rapidly moving tongue covered with sticky saliva.

The Giant Anteater lives above ground, not burrowing underground like armadillos. Though generally an inoffensive animal, when attacked it can defend itself with its sabre-like anterior claws. The female produces one offspring per birth.

The two tamandua anteaters, as typified by Tamandua (or Uroleptes) tetradactyla, are much smaller than the Giant Anteater, and differ essentially from it in their habits, being mainly arboreal. They inhabit the dense primeval forests of South and Central America. The usual colour is yellowish-white, with a broad black lateral band, covering nearly the whole of the side of the body.

The little or two-toed or Silky Anteater (Cyclopes or Cyclotorus didactylus) is a native of the hottest parts of South and Central America, and about the size of a rat, of a general yellowish color, and exclusively arboreal in its habits.

  • ORDER XENARTHRA
    • Family Myrmecophagidae
      • Silky Anteater, Cyclopes didactylus
      • Giant Anteater, Myrmecophaga tridactyla
      • Northern Tamandua, Tamandua mexicana
      • Southern Tamandua, Tamandua tetradactyla
    • Family Megalonychidae: two toed sloths
    • Family Bradypodidae: three toed sloths
    • Family Dasypodidae: armadillos

Similar animals

  • Pangolins are also called scaly anteaters.
  • The Numbat (Myrmecobius fasciatus), a marsupial, formerly called the Banded Anteater.
  • Echidnas, a family of monotremes, are still sometimes called spiny anteaters.
  • Aardvarks are African animals with similar habits.

Read more at Wikipedia.org


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Amela Design 20" Long Anteater Stuffed Animal Plush ToyAmela Design 20" Long Anteater Stuffed Animal Plush Toy $24.99 Andy AnteaterAndy Anteater $28.33
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1963 Topps Valentine Foldee # 22 Anteater Ex-Mt 323504 (Kycards)1963 Topps Valentine Foldee # 22 Anteater Ex-Mt 323504 (Kycards) $4.00 Cute Littlest Pet Shop Anteater - Cute Valentines Gift - Get Shipping DiscountsCute Littlest Pet Shop Anteater - Cute Valentines Gift - Get Shipping Discounts $6.95
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T15660 Paraguay 4225-4228 postfr./Mnh Giant Anteater WwfT15660 Paraguay 4225-4228 postfr./Mnh Giant Anteater Wwf $4.64 Australia 1974 25c Spiny Anteater Stamp - Sheet 100 StampsAustralia 1974 25c Spiny Anteater Stamp - Sheet 100 Stamps $118.69
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Littlest Pet Shop Red Anteater with Purple Eyes #2581 New LooseLittlest Pet Shop Red Anteater with Purple Eyes #2581 New Loose $8.99 Ty Beanie Baby 1996-98~New Collectible Lot Of 3~Deer Anteater FoxTy Beanie Baby 1996-98~New Collectible Lot Of 3~Deer Anteater Fox $1.99
1936 Country Life Magazine (7402) Karakorams Broadway Ant Eater1936 Country Life Magazine (7402) Karakorams Broadway Ant Eater $23.13 1960 South Australia Sapex Exhibition 6d Brown Banded Anteater Fdc1960 South Australia Sapex Exhibition 6d Brown Banded Anteater Fdc $5.95
Dr Jim Stamps Banded Anteater First Day Issue Australia Cover 1950Dr Jim Stamps Banded Anteater First Day Issue Australia Cover 1950 $0.01 Puffkins Collection 'Antsy the Anteater' by Swibco Inc.Puffkins Collection 'Antsy the Anteater' by Swibco Inc. $7.99
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Littlest Pet Shop #1518~Anteater Brown*Green Leaf*2 Small Black Ants~CompleteLittlest Pet Shop #1518~Anteater Brown*Green Leaf*2 Small Black Ants~Complete $6.99 1977 Aat Sperm Whale Gipsy Moth $1 Cocos Australia Spiny Anteater Aboriginal Art1977 Aat Sperm Whale Gipsy Moth $1 Cocos Australia Spiny Anteater Aboriginal Art $9.95
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16” Happy Tree Friends Htf Sniffles Anteater Stuffed Toy Doll Pillow Lover Gift16” Happy Tree Friends Htf Sniffles Anteater Stuffed Toy Doll Pillow Lover Gift $34.99 Lot Of Zuni Fetish Some Signed Anteater Bears BuffaloLot Of Zuni Fetish Some Signed Anteater Bears Buffalo $59.95
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