Visitor to the front yard of Dr. Jane Crawford
Northern Tamanduas are members of the Anteater family, which makes them very easily mistaken for their Anteater cousins. There are two types of Tamanduas; the Southern Tamandua (Tamandua tetradactyla) and the Northern Tamandua (Tamandaua mexicana).
The Northern Tamandua can be found in the areas ranging from southeastern Mexico to south throughout Central America and west of the Andes from northern Venezuela to northern Peru.
The Tamandua possesses a long tapered head and a long, tubular mouth with an opening only as wide as the diameter of a pencil that allows for the protrusion of their tongues. Their fur is thick and bristly as well as yellowish-white in appearance; there is also a broad black lateral band that covers nearly the whole side of their body.
While Tamanduas have very small eyes and extremely poor vision, they possess a strong sense of smell and hearing that allow them to track their prey. With their extremely strong forearms they are able to rip open nests and use their elongated snouts and rounded tongues to lap up their insect prey.
When these amazing creatures are frustrated they tend to communicate their frustration by hissing and releasing an unpleasant scent from their anal glands. Should they be confronted in a tree they tend to grasp a branch with their hind feet and tails in order to use their strong forearm strength in order to defend themselves.
By Dr. Jane Crawford-Photos by Dr. Jane Crawford