Tamandua mexicana (Anteater)
The anteater belongs to the Myrmecophagidae family, which basically means "ant eaters", and are related to sloths and armadillos. They are not very large, they measure between 50 and 80 centimeters, if we add the tail they can measure up to one and a half meters. The long tail and the "trunk" give an elongated appearance to the body that is cream colored with a black spot as a vest.
They are mainly arboreal so their body has specific adaptations for this type of life. Its tail, serves as a prehensile, this serves as a safety harness while they are climbing or balancing on the branches. Their legs have very powerful claws they help them to hold on to wood of the trees, to lift the bark off the trees and feed on their favorite food: ants and termites.
When they are on the ground they are a bit clumsy. Although you can see them both day and night, if you seem to enjoy more hours of darkness. They are not aggressive animals, so when they see your first instinct is to run to climb a tree as high as possible.
They are solitary, so you will never see more than one, except when it comes to a female carrying her young on her back; because of this peculiar way of transporting their offspring, they only have one baby per year. They live in humid, dry, secondary, riparian forests (near rivers), mangroves, savannas ... from Mexico to the northwest of Peru, from sea level to 2000 meters of altitude, although they are more common at altitudes of less than 1000 meters.
The most important hazards for them are roads, fires and habitat loss; Other problems smaller, but also serious is: hunting in rural Ecuador by the popular belief that they are capable of killing domestic dogs and in southern Mexico their hunted to sell them as pets.
Please help protect these amazing animals by helping us save the habitat they live in.
The Kids Saving the Rainforest staff