The above phylogenetic tree was self created.  Many of the branching points are far more complicated than this, but due to limited space and time, I only included the branches important in the classification of the giant anteater.

Common Name: Giant Anteater.

Domain: Eukarya- The cells of the giant anteater, like all other eukaryotes, have a true nucleus which contains genetic information, and the organelles within the cells are surrounded by a membrane.

Kingdom: Animalia- The broad definition of animals is that every individual in this kingdom are multi cellular, lack cell walls, eats and moves.  Biologists recognize a group of animals called the Deuterostomes, which are characterized by radial cleavage in the zygote, the anus forming before the mouth in the embryo, and the coelom forming from the mesoderm pinching off from the gut.  The giant anteater belongs to this group of animals.

Phylum: Chordata- All animals belonging to the phylum Chordata have a dorsal hollow nerve chord, a notochord, pharyngeal gill slits and a tail that extends past the anus at some point in their embryonic or mature development.

Class: Mammalia- All mammals have either hair or fur, are endothermic, and have mammary glands that make lactation possible.  Specifically, the giant anteater belongs to a group of mammals called the the Eutheria or Placental Mammals.

Order: Xenarthra- This order is classified by animals that have little or no teeth at all. In the case of the giant anteater, no teeth are present at any point during their life cycle.

Family: Myrmecophagidae- The characteristics of this family are the elongated snouts and thin long tongues, and large curved claws on their front limbs that are used to tear open nests of ants and termites and also as a means of defense. Long, thick fur that is used as a means of defense against ants and termites is another characteristic of this family.

Genus: Myrmecophaga- Three separate species of anteaters make up the family Myrmecophaga; the giant anteater being the largest of the three.

Species: Myrmecophaga tridactyla- This is the most specific classification of the giant anteater. The species name, tridactyla, means three digits.  They actually have 5 digits on each foot but the middle three digits on the front feet are elongated and have long, curved claws, with the two outer digits being much smaller.