Giant Anteater
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Giant Anteater

This unique animal is the largest of the three anteater species (the other two are the tamandua or lesser anteater and the silky anteater).
Giant anteaters walk with a slow shuffle on all four legs with their nose pointed to the ground. They don’t walk on their feet; instead, with the claws curled up into the feet, anteaters walk on their "fists." This helps to keep the claws sharp so anteaters can dig into ant mounds or defend themselves from predators. Anteaters are also good swimmers, using the freestyle stroke and with their long snout as a snorkel.

Fun Facts

  • The giant anteater has the longest tongue in relation to its body size of any mammal.
  • The giant anteater's sense of smell is 40 times more powerful than ours.
  • A giant anteater is not immune to ant bites, so it feeds at an ant or termite colony for just a minute or so before moving on.
  • Giant anteaters have one of the lowest body temperatures for a mammal, 91 degree Fahrenheit (32.7 degrees Celsius), presumably in response to their low-calorie insect diet.


Conservation Status:
Extinct Threatened Least
Giant Anteater

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