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Anteaters


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Anteaters are solitary mammals that live in grasslands, savannas (plains with grasses and some trees), and open tropical forests in South and Central America. Anteaters are good swimmers and tree climbers.

Anatomy: The anteater has a long, tubular snout, a tiny mouth and a very long, thin tongue. Anteaters walk on their knuckles; they have long, hook-like claws that do not retract, but curve under the paws when the anteater walks. These claws are used to dig for food and for self-defense.

Anteaters range in size from just 6 ounces (170 g) up to 86 pounds (39 kg). The biggest is the giant anteater, which is 7 feet (2 m) long including its long tail.

Senses: Anteaters have terrible eyesight but a keen sense of smell.

Diet: Anteaters are insectivores (insect-eaters). They mostly eat ants and termites but will also eat other insects. They catch insects using their long tongue, flicking the tongue in and out up to 160 times each minute.

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