As part of their Planet Earth series, Great Big Story visited with a hungry giant anteater named Peter, who happily cleaned yogurt off the floor with his great big tongue. Like other animals with whom they visited, Peter is part of an ambassador program that seeks to bring awareness to the possibility that this 25 million year old species could become extinct. Giant anteaters are dwindling in numbers and are considered vulnerable per IUCN list of Threatened species. Hope for the future of this beautiful species lies in captive breeding to help to increase their population.
Reaching up to 7 feet in length, these guys are the largest of the four anteater species. Without teeth, anteaters use their long tongues to catch and consume their prey. Their tongues can flick up to 150 times a minute, giving them the ability to gobble thousands of insects a day. Sadly, overhunting and habitat loss have left the species vulnerable.