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ANTEATER Giant

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Action / Labyrinth

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MAME

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ANTEATER Giant

The ANTEATER Giant (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) is an insectivorous mammal native to Central and South America. It is one of four living species of anteaters, of which it is the largest member. The only extant member of the genus Myrmecophaga, it is classified with sloths in the order Pilosa. This species is mostly terrestrial, in contrast to other living anteaters and sloths, which are arboreal or semiarboreal. The giant anteater is 182 to 217 cm (5 ft 11+12 in to 7 ft 1+12 in) in length, with weights of 33 to 50 kg (73 to 110 lb) for males and 27 to 47 kg (60 to 104 lb) for females. It is recognizable by its elongated snout, bushy tail, long fore claws, and distinctively colored pelage.

The giant anteater is found in multiple habitats, including grassland and rainforest. It forages in open areas and rests in more forested habitats. It feeds primarily on ants and termites, using its fore claws to dig them up and its long, sticky tongue to collect them. Though giant anteaters live in overlapping home ranges, they are mostly solitary except during mother-offspring relationships, aggressive interactions between males, and when mating. Mother anteaters carry their offspring on their backs until weaning them.

The giant anteater is listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It has been extirpated from many parts of its former range. Threats to its survival include habitat destruction, fire, and poaching for fur and bushmeat, although some anteaters inhabit protected areas. With its distinctive appearance and habits, the anteater has been featured in pre-Columbian myths and folktales, as well as modern popular culture.

Taxonomy and phylogeny

The giant anteater got its binomial name from Carl Linnaeus in 1758. Its generic nameMyrmecophaga, and specific nametridactyla, are both Greek, meaning “anteater” and “three fingers”, respectively.[6] Myrmecophaga jubata was used as a synonym. Three subspecies have been tentatively proposed: M. t. tridactyla (ranging from Venezuela and the Guianas to northern Argentina), M. t. centralis (native to Central America, northwestern Colombia, and northern Ecuador), and M. t. artata (native to northeastern Colombia and northwestern Venezuela). The giant anteater is grouped with the semiarboreal northern and southern tamanduas in the family Myrmecophagidae. Together with the family Cyclopedidae, whose only extant member is the arboreal silky anteater, the two families comprise the suborder Vermilingua.[7]

This work © 2023 by Wikipedia is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

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