By Josie

January 20th, 2023

Giant Anteater

about the

Fun Facts 

The Giant Anteater is one of four species that make up the family of Myrmecophagidae.

As the name implies, the Giant Anteater is the largest species within this family.

Here's some fun facts we bet you didn't know about them:

Before we get into it, let's get to know them a little bit better!

Scientific name: Myrmecophaga tridactyla Family: Myrmecophagidae Diet: insectivore Habitat: Grasslands, savannah, tropical- and dry forests Distribution: South America (except Uruguay, El Salvador & Guatemala) Population: 5,000 individuals Level of Endangerment: Vulnerable


Their front feet are equipped with sharp claws, thereby forcing them to walk on their knuckles.

Their snout holds a 2 ft long tongue used for slurping their namesake; ants.


A total body length measuring 5 ft 11 in – 7 ft 2 in makes them well deserving of their name as “giant” anteaters.

Fun Fact #1

Fun Fact #1

Their claws can grow as long as four inches.

Despite not being aggressive by nature, there is documentation of Giant Anteaters killing humans with their sharp claws.

Fun Fact #2 

Fun Fact #2 

Giant Anteater’s are neither agile nor nimble, but if a situation calls for it they may reach speeds of 30 mph.

Surprisingly, they are also talented swimmers and thoroughly enjoy a dip.

Fun Fact #3

Fun Fact #3

Initially, it was believed that the species only consisted of females which reproduced by means of their snouts.

During the colonization of the South Americas, the Spanish brought Giant Anteaters to Europe for display purposes

Fun Fact #4

Fun Fact #4

They have an extremely low body temperature for a mammal.

Normally mammals have a body temperature of 97°F, whereas the Giant Anteater’s temperature measures 91°F.

Fun Fact #5 

Fun Fact #5 

On average they plunge into about 200 ant mounds per day in order to consume their required daily dosage of 30,000 ants.

By means of sticky saliva and flicking their tongue at a rate of 160 times/minute they retrieve large amounts of ants.

As you can, these creatures are just as interesting as they look.

Swipe up to get to know them even better!