In this episode of Candid Animal Cam, Romi introduces us to the world’s biggest anteater …
Did you know?
- The scientific name of the giant anteater is Myrmecophaga tridactyla.
- Giant anteaters are native to Central and South America and they live in forests, savannas, and grasslands.
- They are the world’s biggest anteaters, with a total body length (including the tale) of about 6-7 feet (1.8 – 2.2 meters).
- Giant anteaters have dense fur and bushy tails to keep them warm on cold nights.
- Giant anteaters can climb and swim.
- They can run at speeds of over 30 miles (48 km) per hour!
- Giant anteaters are insectivores, meaning that they eat insects.
- They have a terrific sense of smell to help them find their food, which includes ants and termites.
- A giant anteater needs to eat LOTS of insects to meet its energy needs: in fact, they can eat up to 30,000 insects a day!
- A giant anteater can flick its tongue super fast – more than twice per second – when it eats.
- Giant anteaters are solitary. That means that they mostly live alone, unless they are mating or the mother anteater is caring for her young.
Did you hear?
- What does Romi mean when she says that giant anteaters use a “lightning strike” feeding tactic? Why do giant anteaters use this type of feeding behavior?
- Which animal has the lowest body temperature of all placental mammals?
- How do giant anteaters defend themselves if they feel threatened?
- Which big cat is the giant anteater powerful enough to kill?
A giant anteater in Bolivia. Look at those claws!
Isn’t it beautiful?
Activity: giant anteater art
Draw, paint, or sculpt a giant anteater. Here are a few ideas to help you get creative:
- a giant anteater trying to stay warm on a cold night
- a giant anteater defending itself against a jaguar
- a giant anteater flicking its tongue to catch termites
- a giant anteater caring for its baby
The Rewilding Argentina Foundation, with special thanks to naturalist Augusto Distel.