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Giant Anteater
Giant Anteater
Mammal. Giant anteaters hunt for food at night and sleep as much as 15 hours a day. They do not have teeth. Instead, they use their long, sticky tongues, which can reach as much as 60 centimeters (two feet) in length, to catch insects for food. They have a powerful sense of smell, 40 times that of humans, and can detect the scents of insects over great distances. Their claws are used to rip open concrete-hard termite and ant mounds. Although they eat about 30,000 insects a day, anteaters only spend a few minutes feeding at any one ant nest or termite mound, removing only a few thousand insects from each.
Scientific Name Lifespan
Myrmecophaga tridactyla 26 years
Carnivore. Leaf cutter ants, carpenter ants, termites, and grubs.
Predators and Threats
Pumas, jaguars, and humans.
Tropical forests, grasslands, and highlands; southern Central America and the northern and central parts of South America.