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Anteaters: Myrmecophagidae

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Silky Anteater (cyclopes Didactylus): Species Accounts, Giant Anteater (myrmecophaga Tridactyla): Species AccountsGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, ANTEATERS AND PEOPLE, C

GIANT ANTEATER (Myrmecophaga tridactyla): SPECIES ACCOUNTS

Anteaters live in Central and South America, in Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela.

Silky anteaters live in trees in rainforests, areas where abundant rainfall produces heavy growth. They also inhabit grassland, areas where there are few trees. Giant anteaters live on the ground and are found mainly on grassland. They also live in wetlands, where the land is flat and wet. They live in moist forests and may live near rainforests. Tamandua live in trees or on the ground. They are found in rainforests, grassland, and dry forests.

A giant anteater eats about 30,000 ants each day. The tamandua eat about 9,000 in a day, and the silky anteater can eat 5,000 in one day. The giant anteater and tamandua also consume termites.

People sometimes keep anteaters to eliminate ants and termites from their homes, as well as keeping them as pets. In addition, people kill giant anteaters and eat their meat. People kill tamandua to make rope out of the tendon, a cord-like tissue that attaches muscle to bone, in the tail.

Giant anteaters are Vulnerable, facing a high risk of extinction in the wild, according to the World Conservation Union (IUCN). Threats to giant anteaters' survival include the loss of habitat, and lack of food as trees are cut down and insect nests are destroyed. Habitat loss could threaten other anteaters in the future.

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Animal Life ResourceMammals