Facts about this animal
Usually one young is born which is carried on the mother's back for at least 10 months. An interesting fact is the coloration of the animals. The young's position on the back is exactly so that the black stripe on the side is consistent with the mother's stripe - a specific type of camouflage.
Did you know?
That the giant anteater's name is quite appropriate as the main food item are ants. It can be read in many books that the giant anteaters' main food source are termites as they can often be seen ripping termite mounds apart. But from in situ observations it is known that they are looking for ants which inhabit the mounds after the termite population has died out or left it.
|Name (Scientific)||Myrmecophaga tridactyla|
|Name (English)||Giant Anteater|
|Name (French)||Fourmilier géant ou Tamanoir|
|Name (German)||Grosser Ameisenbär|
|Name (Spanish)||Hormiguero gigante, Oso hormiguero, Oso caballo|
|Local names||Brazil: Tamanduá-bandeira, Yurú mi (Indian.)|
|CITES Status||Appendix II|
|CMS Status||Not listed|
This factsheet was compiled by
Frank Brandstätter, Zoo Dortmund, October 2005
Photo Copyright by
|Range||Central and South America, from Belize and southern Guatemala to northern Argentina|
|Habitat||Savannahs, grasslands, deciduous forest and rainforest; with a preference for open vegetation|
|Wild population||Unknown, but locally abundant (Red List IUCN 2011)|
|Zoo population||257 (123.128.6) are registered by the International studbook (Dec 31, 2007). The Studbook was established in 1988 and is kept by Dortmund Zoo.|
In the Zoo
How this animal should be transported
For air transport, Container Note 75 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.
Find this animal on ZooLex
Photo Copyright by
Why do zoos keep this animal
Until recently giant anteaters have only been kept as additional animals in multi-species South American enclosures. Fortunately they have now become a focus animal for several zoos. Its status in the wild is vulnerable and numbers are declining rapidly in certain parts of their distribution. Thus, there is the chance to preserve one of the most intriguing species on earth for the future as long as there is still time.