Mar 27, 2009 · The Smithsonian’s National Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of a giant anteater born yesterday, March 12, in an indoor enclosure. This is only the second giant anteater to be born in the history of the Zoo.National Zoo animal care staff and veterinarians have been closely monitoring mother Maripi (ma-RIP-ee) for the past six months, performing weekly ultrasounds and other
Aug 08, 2007 · Summary: A giant anteater was born at the Smithsonian's National Zoo the morning of Tuesday, July 24--a first in the Zoo's 118-year history. Anteaters have sticky tongues that can extend up to two...
The giant anteater may use multiple habitats. A 2007 study of giant anteaters in the Brazilian Pantanal found the animals generally forage in open areas and rest in forested areas, possibly because forests are warmer than grasslands on cold days and cooler on hot days. Giant anteaters can be either diurnal or nocturnal. A 2006 study in the ...
Jun 20, 2015 · Giant Anteater Born at Brookfield Zoo The one-month-old female pup and her mom Tulum may be seen in Tropic World: South America. Morgan Searles, Patch Staff. Posted Sat, Jun 20, 2015 at 7:01 am CT.
- Morgan Searles
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Apr 10, 2020 · A baby anteater was born on the evening of March 31 to mom Olive the zoo announced Thursday. “Olive has been very attentive to the baby, carefully nursing and transporting the pup on her back,” the...
Dec 18, 2020 · Giant anteaters are the largest of four anteater species reaching a length of 6 to 8 feet The zoo welcomed the first giant anteater ever to be born there back in December 2016. Baby 'Bowie' was...
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- Other Facts
Giant anteaters live in the southernmost part of Central America and throughout a large part of South America.
As their name suggests, giant anteaters mostly feed on ants. They will also dine on other insects, including grubs and termites. A single anteater may eat as many as 30,000 ants per day.
Their appearance is unique to most, if not all, other animals on earth. They are easily identified by their long, tube-like noses and thick, strawlike hair. Giant anteaters will use their long noses to probe large anthills and termite mounds. Tongues of giant anteaters are very long - they can grow to sizes of 2 feet in length. They will stick their long tongues, which are covered with saliva and tiny hairs, into holes of ant hills or other insect burrows to catch the insects living inside. This process can be repeated as many as 150 times a minute. Giant anteaters have thick, tough skin to help protect them against ant bites from ants such as army ants. Even with this layer of protection, they cannot endure bites from large numbers of ants for very long. They have large and powerful claws which can be used to tear into anthills or termite mounds. They have long, gray and black fur with distinctive stripes on their shoulders. Giant anteaters have long, bushy tails that may act like...
Giant anteaters are able to reproduce about every nine months. They typically give birth to one offspring at a time after a gestation period of approximately 190 days. Young are born while the mother is standing. After birth, a young anteater will immediately climb onto its mother's back. While young ride on their mother's back, their stripes align and form a type of camouflage.
Anteaters and aardvarks are sometimes confused with one another. While their diets are somewhat similar, their appearances are very different. Click here to visit the Aardvark page and see a picture of an aardvark.
Sometime during the early morning hours of December 8th, Laura, a 7 year old female giant anteater at @Zoo Miami whose birthday happens to fall on the same d...
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- Physical characteristics
- Distribution and habitat
Giant anteaters have a long, distinctive snout with a 2-foot-long tongue and no teeth. They may have diminished senses of hearing and sight, but they have a highly developed sense of smell.
These anteaters are distinctively patterned in various shades of brown with wide, black stripes that run from their upper front legs toward their spine. Their front legs are white, and they have a bushy tail. They have no undercoats to provide warmth; instead they have bristly, short hair on their shoulders and longer hair on their legs and tail, which resembles the texture of a horse's mane.
Giant anteaters protect their sharp front claws by tucking them into their palms and walking on their front knuckles. Their back feet and claws are more similar to bears (they only knuckle walk with their front feet). They walk in a slow, shuffling gait but when necessary can gallop at over 30 miles per hour (48 kilometers per hour). They can also climb and swim. Giant anteaters will avoid threats if possible. If they need to defend themselves, they will rear up, steadying themselves with their large tails, and use their powerful claws. Adult giant anteaters are rarely vocal. If the young do vocalize, it is a high-pitched, shrill grunt. After birth, the young anteater climbs onto the mother's back where it stays for up to a year. As it matures, it becomes independent. A young anteater usually nurses for six months and leaves its mother by age 2. Giant anteater lifestyles appear to depend on the human population density around them. The more populated the area, the more likely the anteaters will be nocturnal; in less populated areas, anteaters are diurnal.
The largest of the four anteater species, giant anteaters reach 6-8 feet (1.8-2.4 meters) in length, including both nose and tail. They weigh between 60 and 100 pounds (27 and 45 kilograms). However, it is nearly impossible to differentiate the adult male from the female using external anatomy alone.
Giant anteaters are found throughout Central and South America except for Guatemala, Uruguay and El Salvador, where they are considered to be extinct. They live in wetlands, grasslands and tropical forests.
Research has found that giant anteaters can identify the particular species of ant or termite by smell before they rip apart the prey's nest. When feeding, sticky saliva coats the tongue. The 2-foot-long tongue is attached to the sternum and can flick in and out up to 150 times per minute. Anteaters feed almost exclusively on ants and termites, whose nests they rip open with their powerful forelimbs and claws, and then ingest with their sticky tongue. They only consume about 140 insects from each mound during a single feeding. They rarely drink, but instead receive their water from the foods they eat or possibly moisture left on plants after rain.
Giant anteaters reach sexual maturity at 3-4 years of age. Gestation lasts about 180 days (six months). They give birth to a single young and suckle the offspring from a pair of mammary glands located on the chest.