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‘Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan’ [Episode Preview]: Giant Anteaters and Crocodile Attack In Brazil

Feb 17, 2016 11:16 AM EST
Giant Anteater
Giant anteaters eat up to 30 thousand ants and termites a day to survive.
(Photo : Flickr: Fernando Flores)

On tonight's episode of "Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan," Dominic travels to Brazil to visit the world's largest wetland, the Pantanal, one home of the giant anteater.  

Those distinctively long-snouted creatures, roughly seven feet long from nose to tail and the largest of four anteater species, are very adaptable creatures found in open grasslands of Central and South America. They take shelter during the hottest time of day in forested areas. They're helped in their insect-eating purposes by having huge, curved front claws for raking through ant hills and termite nests. One giant anteater can slurp up as many as 30 thousand of its prey each day with an extendable tongue.

Aside from the usual story about what anteaters consume, we'd like to note that they have bad vision, bad hearing, and no teeth -- but can be vicious. While their attacks on humans are rare, several have been reported in Brazil within the last couple of years. In a particularly deceptive move for most humans, threatened anteaters pose on their hind legs with outstretched arms as if they want a hug. Unfortunately, this is a clear warning sign that they will attack if you step on their turf. These may not be secure times for anteaters, though; the species is considered threatened and has disappeared from several Brazilian states. Habitat loss is noted as the leading cause of its extinction. 

While visiting Brazil, Monaghan also gets a taste of Sao Paolo's nightlife; visits a house of horrors filled with 50,000 critters; witnesses the small to mid-sized crocodiles called caimans attacking large rodents called capybara; and gets caught in an electrical storm while herding cattle on horseback. All in a typical Monaghan day, of course. 

This exciting episode airs Tonight, Feb. 17 on the Travel Channel, 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

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