Meet the Giant Anteater


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Soooo… where’s the giant ants?


They have some of these at the Santa Barbara Zoo. I love watching them, and one time I saw one start digging in its enclosure. This is hard packed southern CA soil, which I have attacked with spades and pick-axes, and this thing just started digging it through it like oatmeal. They are fucking strong as hell.


Why are they being hunted to extinction? is this some kind of weird “if you make soup from the tongue you get ant immunity” class of human awful?



You can eat it too, if you want. It is a traditional folk delicacy from the south of Rio de Janeiro.


I read that the plantations in Central Brazil are destroying the habitat of this sometimes dangerous animal. I’ve never heard of someone eating Tamanduás.

"A man, 45, died on Tuesday (5) when he was attacked by an anteater in Diamantina, Central Region of Minas Gerais, according to the Fire Department. The attack, considered rare by the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama), happened in the rural area of ​​the city."


I just saw a show on the Giant Armadillo, and their burrows make little hotels for other animals, including giant ant eaters.


In North America once in a while a white tail deer will attack and gore someone. Usually a hunter or hiker. Animals of any sort can be dangerous.


Makes sense. If the ant eater would fight a panther, a human isn’t a big deal


People should not mess with wildlife. When we stress animals, they can act in an unpredictable way.


The article says the man was a prospector in a remote area. His dogs cornered a Tamandua Bandeira and he was injured when he went to see the mess. Some biologists have said that this is not a common behavior and that the animal could be defending itself or its cubs.


I was thinking orders of magnitude larger. For instance, when you have one of these guys around, you want a giant ant eater in your yard.



Their strength and the thick claws not only dig through soil, but they can get up on their hind legs and use the claws to slash at predators and anyone else happening by (IIRC their vision isn’t great).

They coexisted with the saber-tooth cats, so they survived that, too.


They were kind of asking for it.



rookie mistake, never ask humans to come at you…


Actually It is a defensive posture. Um abraço de tamanduá. An anteater’s hug.



Impressive credentials for any creature. Unfortunate its name only addresses a preference for eating tiny bugs.

“Ginormous, Hard Sod Bustin’, Strong As All Fuck, Eater of Acid-Loaded Ants” sounds more appropriate.


I asked a zookeeper once what they fed their Anteater. I kind of expected the answer to be “ants,” although once I thought about it, it wouldn’t be so easy to provide a steady diet of those to an animal that probably goes through thousands in a day. The zookeeper said “insectivore diet, and yogurt, but not blueberry” (apparently it doesn’t like blueberry).


But you can call him Al.