Southern Tamandua

The southern tamandua, a menace to ants and termites of South America, is a creature of both land and trees. Tamandua is a solitary animal, found mostly in arid savannas and secondary forests. This mammal is also popular as collared anteater or lesser anteater.

Southern Tamandua

Southern Tamandua

Continue reading to know about the southern tamandua.

Scientific Classification of Southern Tamandua

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Pilosa

Family: Myrmecophagidae

Genus: Tamandua

Species: T. tetradactyla

 

Southern Tamandua Physical Description

The southern tamandua or collared anteater is a medium-sized mammal but can vary in size based on environmental condition. The mammal has a body and the head length ranging from 34 – 88cm. Adults weigh 1.5-8.4 kg.

Physical Description of Southern Tamandua

Physical Description of Southern Tamandua

There is no such difference in size between male and female tamandua. They have four clawed digits on the forefeet and five on the hind feet. Their snout is long and decurved with an opening. Their long ears make them look different from northern tamandua. They have short dense fur. The color varies depending on their location.

Southern Tamandua Habitat

Tamanduas inhabit both wet and dry forests, including savannah, tropical rainforest, and thorn scrub. They are commonly found near rivers and streams. They prefer spending much of their time in trees.

Habitat of Southern Tamandua

The habitat of Southern Tamandua

Distribution of Southern Tamandua

The southern tamanduas are found in South America, northern Argentina, southern Brazil, and Uruguay. This species also inhabits parts of Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Columbia, and Bolivia.

Distribution of Southern Tamandua

Distribution of Southern Tamandua

Diet of Southern Tamandua

Southern tamanduas are fond of ants and termites. They also eat fruits. Tamanduas locate food by scent. They prey on various species like army ants, Nasutertimes, and carpenter ants. They don’t eat ants armed with chemical defences like leafcutter ants. Tamanduas are also seen eating honey and bees. When in captive, they eat fruit and meal as well.

Diet of Southern Tamandua

Diet of Southern Tamandua

Tamanduas are toothless species but have a muscular gizzard in the stomach that helps digest their food.

Behaviour of Southern Tamandua

Let’s find out their behavioural traits;

  • Tamanduas are nocturnal.
  • They rest in hollow tree trunks or in the burrows of other animals.
  • They communicate by releasing an unpleasing scent from their anal glands.
  • Tamanduas are clumsy on the ground.
  • They have a low body temperature that helps them survive with low energy content.
  • Tamanduas are more comfortable in climbing trees than walking or roaming around.

Southern Tamandua Reproduction

Not much is known about their reproduction phase. As per research, baby tamanduas are born between the month of March and May. Females are capable of breeding throughout the year. This habit of theirs makes them characteristically polyestrous. Mating happens during the fall months.

Reproduction of Southern Tamandua

Reproduction of Southern Tamandua

Lifespan of Southern Tamandua

The maximum captive lifespan of tamandua is 9 years.

 

Southern Tamandua Predators

The common predators of southern tamandua include jaguar, puma, margay, and cougar. When threatened, they use their claws to make a rapid hook like in an attempt to run away from the predators. They are also found gripping tree branches with their tail for self-defence.

Southern Tamandua Interesting Facts

  • The southern tamandua has a 40cm long tongue.
  • They are toothless species.
  • The southern tamandua hardly makes any sound, unless it is threatened or attacked.

Southern Tamandua Conservation Status

The species is listed in the least concern category on the IUCN’s Red list of threatened species.

Pictures of Southern Tamandua

Southern Tamandua

Southern Tamandua

Reproduction of Southern Tamandua

Reproduction of Southern Tamandua

Diet of Southern Tamandua

Diet of Southern Tamandua

Habitat of Southern Tamandua

Habitat of Southern Tamandua

Physical Description of Southern Tamandua

Physical Description of Southern Tamandua

Southern Tamandua Video

References

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