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Common name:


Scientific name:

Myrmecophaga tridactyla


20 - 40 kg


2 m
Temperate forest and Taiga
Central America and Caribbean


Preocupación menor
Least concern
Who is it? 

A cousin of the armadillo and the sloth, the giant anteater is one of the oldest mammals on the planet. And also one the strangest: its peculiar elongated head, finishing in a tiny mouth, gives it a very recognisable appearance.

It has a long toothless snout, small ears and dense fur, it is native to Central and South America (though it is locally extinct in some Central American countries). Its natural habitat is varied: it has lived in moist and dry forests, swampy areas, savannahs and grasslands.

What are its habits?

It consumes thousands of ants each day. In fact, ants, along with termites, are what determine the territory in which they live. Having said that, they are selective: of the hundreds of existing species, they only choose four or five species of ant. Since they have a strong sense of smell, they are capable of easily locating their favourite prey, which they reach by digging into the ground which their powerful claws. 

The giant anteater’s reproduction is not seasonal. Gestation occurs over 190 days, after which one pup is born. Shortly after birth, it grips its mother’s fur with its claws to climb on her back, where it remains for a year. After this time, it separates from her to begin to explore its environment alone.

Giant anteaters do not seem to have any contact with one another: they normally spend their time covering vast expanse to feed, and only interact with each other to breed

Did you know…

In captivity the giant anteater easily cohabits and even forgets to search for food, which increases its sociability with other individuals.

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Dear visitor:

Following the indication of the competent authorities, Zoo Aquarium de Madrid will remain closed out of consideration for the health and safety of our visitors and employees. We continue to provide regular updates through this website and social media.

Since our priority is that our visitors can enjoy the unique experiences of our park, for customers with tickets on dates with the park closed, changes will be allowed for dates on any other day in the year 2020. If you made your purchase at the box office or on the park's website, please write an email to with your ticket information for personalized management of your case. For other sales channels, please contact your distribution point directly.

In the meantime, and seeking to safeguard our animals wellbeing, our veterinarians and caretakers teams will continue to diligently look after them on a daily basis.

We deeply appreciate your understanding and will continue to report promptly through our website and social media.