Giant Anteater


The giant anteater bears the scientific name Myrmecophaga tridactyla. This name means that the animal should be three-fingered and actually counters one of its most unique features – the fact that it has five digits on each limb and not the usual number. In fact, this is just one of the many characteristics that make the Giant anteater as important and as unmistakable as it is. Although being the largest of the anteaters and has a strong claw in the middle of its fingers and can use it for protection and attack at any time, it’s a fauna species with a vulnerable conservation status. This rather disturbing classification is because of the fact that the natural habitats of the species are disappearing due to the region’s globalisation and the expanse of metropolises.

Giant Anteater habitat

Found in large numbers in many areas throughout South and Central America, this animal is able to travel and feed a lot, but the main aim during the day is to find food and nurture their otherwise very strong bodies. The giant anteater has a really peculiar history as well, while many can be seen in Argentina and Honduras, the species has absolutely disappeared from the Mexican region. Although there are fossils that confirm its existence in this country, currently, the Giant Anteater is not found in the central American country. Various specialists claim that this is the result of a climate anomaly, but nothing has been discovered and confirmed. Due to the Giant Anteater’s ability to adapt well to almost every kind of environment from rainforests to hills and dry forests, they seem to have transferred long time ago and have probably never even wanted to return.

Giant anteater habitat map

Giant anteater habitat map

Anteater abilities

Without a strong ability to see or hear, it is hard for them to hunt and search for food. This is why they have resorted to feeding on the smaller species such as, as noted in the animal’s very name, ants and even termites. They make use of the thick and long claw on their hands to rummage and break apart holes where their food might be as well as open the shells of beetles. Their tongues are about 70cm long and are covered in a sticky substance, which allows the Giant anteater to collect large amounts of insects at once.

Anteater tongue

Their tongues are about 70cm long

Solitary and very individualistic, the Giant anteater is not a social animal. Each individual can take care of its own needs and doesn’t require a company. The only exception is during the mating season as well as when an offspring is present. Although they are self-centred and don’t need a constant partner or herds, the anteater always takes care for its young one and the bond between an anteater mother and her child is extremely strong. Almost half of the animal’s life is spent on the back of its mother while she travels and seeks food and place to sleep. Although there are many sounds and signs that can be observed, the level of communication is also very low. The only time when a Giant anteater would think of sending messages to others s if it’s a parent-offspring relationship or during the mating season.