IUCN Red List status:

Vulnerable

For more info on classifications visit www.iucnredlist.org

Animal vulnerability index Animal vulnerability index

An anteater can devour up to 30,000 ants in a day!

Giant anteaters, as the name suggests, are the world’s biggest anteater species. In Central and South America they live in grasslands and rainforests.

Once they find an ant hill or termite mound they rip it open using their claws and then vacuum up the ants through that long nose. Their tongues are covered in thousands of tiny hooks which help to scoop out the ants and termites. It is attached directly to the sternum which allows it to flick in and out up to 150 times per minute, making them very effective eaters!

They are slow moving animals as a rule, but they can run short distances when they need to. When not eating, they spend much of their time asleep, covering themselves up with that furry tail which acts like a warming blanket.

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Their tongues can be more than 60cm long!
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Giant anteaters are the largest anteater species and can reach over 2 meters!
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Giant anteater populations have decreased by more than 30% in recent years

Giant anteater numbers are in decline and the species is commonly reported in road-kill surveys.

They’re one of the most threatened mammals in Central America and in Brazil – in some areas of the country where they once roamed freely there are now none left.

In many areas they are considered a pest or hunted for food and in Central America much of the grassland they depend on to survive has been destroyed.

We play an important role in the future survival of this vulnerable species through our support for conservation projects in the wild.

Find out more about the Anteaters and Highways project

OUR TEAM OF EXPERTS WORK IN SIX REGIONS AROUND THE GLOBE – REPRESENTING SOME OF THE PLANET’S MOST BIODIVERSE HABITATS DISCOVER more about our conservation and science work.

THIS IS WHAT WE DO