Giant Anteater

Myrmecophaga tridactyla

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The giant anteater has no teeth; instead it has a specialized narrow tongue about 2 feet long with tiny, backward pointing spines. These spines are covered in sticky saliva which is helpful when the animal is “fishing” for its food. This adaptation allows the giant anteater to eat up to 35,000 ants and termites a day. Because ants are quick to retaliate by stinging a predator, the giant anteater will only spend up to 1 minute at each mound.

While walking, giant anteaters will curl up their claws into their paws forming a “fist.” This is done to keep the claws sharp, as they rely on them when digging into ant mounds or defending themselves from predators. Although not an aggressive species, the giant anteater can be fierce when faced with danger.


Ants and termites
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