The Giant Anteater, scientifically known as Myrmecophaga tridactyla, is the largest of all anteaters. The Giant anteater can be found in large parts of southern Central America and the northern and central parts of South America. Commonly found in the tropical forests, woodlands, humid forests, grasslands, and highlands; where ants are in huge abundance.
Being the largest of four anteater species; the length of giant anteater can be 5-7 ft, measured from nose to tail. This giant species weigh about 40 to 100 pounds. Its body structure is quite unique; having a narrow head, long nose or snout, small eyes, and round ears. The tail is long and bushy (2-3 ft long). The hair color may be gray or brown, with black and white strip running along the body. Front feet have large claws and are curled under when it walks. The vision is quite poor, but it has a good sense of smell. Carpenter ants and other large ants are the primary food of Giant anteaters. They usually ignore termites, army ants, and other species with large jaws. It feed on the ants by entering its sticky tongue into their colonies. It has a gestation period of about six months. A giant anteater gives birth to one offspring, which is weaned in a few months. For some period the infant lives with his mother.
The size of Giant anteaters makes them invulnerable to all but the largest of predators, jaguars and cougars primarily. These species are often found to be killed by humans, either intentionally through hunting or unintentionally through collisions with cars. Habitat destruction is the primary threat to giant anteaters. They are listed as Appendix II, which means a species not necessarily threatened to extinction but one that should be controlled in trade to avoid overuse, by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).