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Anteaters are a family of edentate mammals native to Central and South America, which have a tubular mouth with a small aperture, and a long (giant anteaters' tongues can measure over two feet) tongue covered with a viscid secretion, which they thrust into the ant-hills and then withdraw covered with ants and termites.[1] There are four species of anteater: the Giant Anteater, Silky Anteater, the Southern Tamandua and Northern Tamandua. Aadvarks and echidnas are sometimes called "anteaters" because they also eat ants, but they are not technically classified as anteaters.

The giant anteater, which grows to an adult length of 6–8 feet,[2] can eat over 30,000 ants in a day.[3] Anteaters have no teeth, but use pebbles to grind up their food, aided by strong stomach muscles.[4]


  1. Nuttall Encyclopedia of General Knowledge, article on Anteater originally published in 1907 written by Reverend James Wood