A tree-climbing anteater with golden fur and a long prehensile tail.
Unknown, but probably up to 9 years in captivity.
58-61cm long, with a 50-53cm long tail and weighing 3.4-7kg.
An anteater with strong claws and a long, powerful, prehensile tail. Its coat is fawn to dark brown, and in some individuals from the south-eastern part of its range there is a black or dark brown 'collar' running from the shoulders to the rump. The nose and tail only have very short, sparse fur. As with other anteaters, the nose and jaws are very long, the ears and eyes small, and the tongue can be extended 40cm from the mouth.
South America east of the Andes from Venezuela to northern Argentina and Trinidad.
Savannah, scrub and wet or dry forest.
Medium-sized ants and termites, plus bees and honey.
Tamanduas are solitary, active both during the day and the night, and spend a large proportion of their time in trees, using their long claws and prehensile tails for grip. The tail also acts as a prop on the ground, allowing the animal to stand on its hind legs and slash at attackers with its claws. They break open social insect nests with their claws, and then use their long sticky tongues to eat as many as they can very fast. They avoid solider ants or termites, and move on when the insects' defences start to take action. They will also attack bees' nests and feed on the grubs and honey.
Mating takes place in the autumn, and a single young is born in the spring after a 130-150 day gestation period. The young are born well developed, with a coat that ranges from white to black and lacks the adult markings. The youngster clings onto its mother's back and is carried around, but is often hung on a branch nearby a favourite feeding spot or left in a nest of leaves.
Not currently threatened.