Collared Anteater found in Buenaventura reserve
News has just come in of a Tamandua (Collared Anteater) found in Buenaventura reserve, Ecuador. Unfortunately the animal was dead, after having been in collision with a car, but this is a new sighting for the reserve and they were not known to occur in the reserve previously.
Anteaters belong to the Edentate family which means 'having no teeth'. However, in the case of the tamandua this isn't strictly true as they have some small teeth which are useful as they supplement their diet with some fruits. They use the sharp claws on their front paws to open ant and termite nests which provide the majority of their diet.
Tamanduas are primarily nocturnal and sleep through the day in hollow trees or the forks of trees, securing themselves by wrapping their tails around branches. They have coarse, yellowish, or brownish fur with black markings and are about half the size of the Giant Anteater relatives. They can grow to be about 60 centimetres long and have a prehensile tail.
There are two species of tamandua: the Northern Tamandua (Tamandua mexicana), occurs in Central America and the northwestern part of South America; and the Southern Tamandua (Tamandua tetradactyla), which is found further south and is the species found at Buenaventura.