| This fairly common anteater can be active both day and night. Unlike most mammals, anteaters do not maintain a constant body temperature, so they adjust their daily activity to the weather. Northern Tamanduas find their food - termites and ants - both on the ground, especially in rotting logs, and in trees. They live in evergreen and deciduous forests as well as mangrove and savannah habitats.
This animal looks like it is wearing a black vest. It has a long, almost-naked prehensile tail and a long, tapered snout. Its forefeet are equipped with two large and two small claws. Tamanduas (like other anteaters) walk awkwardly, on the knuckles or sides of their front feet, rather than putting the front feet flat on the ground. Young anteaters ride on their mothers' backs until they are ready to travel independently.
Head and Body: 470-770 mm; Tail: 402-672 mm
2-7 kg (captives)
Saussure, M.H., 1860. Revue et Magasin de Zoologie Pure et Appliquée, Paris, ser. 2, 12:9.
Mammal Species of the World (opens in a new window).
Tamandua mexicana (Northern Tamandua), Panama
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