Anteater is a generic term for any of the four species including the giant anteater, collared anteater, silky anteater, spiny anteater and echidna. Anteaters inhabit the southern hemisphere of the Earth. They can be found in southern parts of Africa, America and Australia.
Of these, the giant anteater can be found to be about 2 metres in length. They are specific to central and southern America. They live in jungles and grasslands. They have a considerable appetite, which means they can eat about 30,000 insects in a day. The smaller members of this family include the silky anteater that can achieve a length of only about 30 centimeters.
The female member of this species gives birth to just one progeny after keeping it waiting in gestation for about six months. The first few years of the lives of these babies are spent in company of their mothers who protect them from their predators. They usually don't part ways till the mother conceives a second time.
They have been hunted a lot by humans, and their natural habitats have been destroyed by humans in search of prosperity. This has brought anteaters to the verge of extinction. There are reports that claim the presence of just 5,000 giant anteaters in the world.
Anteaters are closely related to sloths and armadillos. All species have a long snout with a built-in tongue that can stretch to long distances in search of ants and termites. They have sharp claws on their paws, which they use to exploit and open up moulds that can have termites and ants.