In Brazil, the giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla Linnaeus, 1758) is a mammal mentioned in some popular folklore stories, most often negatively. As a threatened mammal, listed in Brazil and worldwide as Vulnerable, such reports can negatively affect its conservation in some regions. The main purpose of this study is to describe perceptions about the physical and behavioral characteristics of giant anteaters and to verify the existence of popular reports involving these animals, in two Brazilian traditional communities where the species is relatively abundant in the wild. Through semi-direct interviews I registered 24 popular reports involving giant anteaters, three of which had been cited previously in the scientific literature.
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Vol. 13 • No. 1