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Giant anteaters are vulnerable to a variety of predators such as big cats and humans. In defense, anteaters will raise on their hind legs, using their substantial tail for balance. They sleep in abandoned burrows. They give birth to one single offspring at a time, with the baby spending the first part of its life on the mother’s back. Gestation period is about 190 days. They are generally considered to be solitary animals.
Probably the most unusual characteristic of the anteater is its amazing tongue. Only one half inch wide, it can be as much as two feet long. Covered in sticky saliva, the tongue can snag as many as 30,000 ants and insects in a single day. Anteaters have no teeth.
Grasslands, forests and rainforests
It’s believed there are about 5,000 animals left in the wild and about 90 in zoos in the United States. Habitat destruction is a major concern.
- This animal has an unusual behavior of walking on its knuckles, protecting its strong claws.
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Xenarthra Pilosa Vermilingua Myrmecophagidae
Place of Birth
Central and South America
Up to 7 feet
Dark with lighter striped markings on legs and tail
15 years in the wild; up to 25 years in captivity