Giant Anteater

Giant Anteater

Myrmecophaga tridactyla


Quick Facts
Body Length:
3 to 4 feet; Tail length: 2 to 3 feet

50 to 86 pounds
Wild diet: Ants and termites.
Zoo Diet: Canned feline diet, ground dog chow, insects, and oranges.
Distribution: Southern Mexico, Central America, The northern two thirds of South America except the Andes. They are vulnerable to extinction because of habitat reduction.
Habitat: Grasslands, swamps, and tropical forests.

Giant anteaters are sexually dimorphic (with two distinct gender forms): males are larger than females. They are dark gray with black-and-white shoulder stripes. Their defining features are their long, narrow head, 24-inch tongue, and long, bushy tail. They do not have teeth, though their second and third fingers have a sharp, powerful claw about 1.5 to 7.5 inches long.

Status in the Wild
  • They are listed on Appendix II of CITES
  • Listed as "vulnerable" on the IUCN Red List (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources).
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