Southern Belize to northern Argentina
Savannas, grassland, swampy areas and humid forests
Wild: Largely ants and termites; larvae, some fruit
Zoo: Leaf eater diet and dry cat food
About 190 but as little as 142 days observed
Head and body length 40-48 inches; tail 26-36 inches; weight 40-85 lbs. The body is narrow and the fur gray overall with black and white along the shoulders. The hair is coarse and thick, longest on the tail. The head is elongated and tapers to a tubular mouth. The long tongue is covered with a sticky secretion that entraps the ants which the anteater feeds on. They swim well and will readily go in water. They sleep curled up with the head between the forelegs and the tail covering the body. Their main predators, pumas and jaguars, are very careful to avoid the front claws which can kill them. Anteaters probably have weak vision, but a good sense of smell. Once a termite or ant nest is opened the anteater will eat until the stings from the insects become too frequent and painful, then move on to another nest. For this reason they are not territorial, but rather nomadic, always seeking new nests. One anteater can consume 35,000 to 50,000 insects per day
Where in the Zoo?
I can be found in the RainForest Aviary & Surrounding Exhibits at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.