Try and pass if you dare
Simon Tomlinson : Daily Mail, UK : 04 Sep 2015
This aardvark lived up to its name when it rose up and puffed out its chest to confront an oncoming car. The anteater bravely stepped out in front of the Jeep when it approached on a dirt track in Brazil. Photographer Luciano Candisani said the animal was making itself look 'bigger' and 'stronger' after spotting the vehicle.
Mr Candisani, 44, was running a photography workshop at the time and was taking them through the Pantanal wetlands in Brazil. The wildlife photographer said: 'It was very early in the morning. I was leading a photography workshop in Pantanal when the anteater entered the dirt road in front of our jeep and stopped in front of the car.
I was very excited since it is something I always seek with my photography - to produce images capable of demonstrating the strong link between species and their environment. I jumped out of the jeep and got very close. The animal then assumed the defensive posture for a minute. It was enough for five or so pictures. According to Mr Candisani, of Ilhabela, Brazil, the animal's strategy is to look big as a defensive response to something bigger than itself.
He never felt threatened during the short encounter with the adult-sized Southern Anteater. He added: 'The anteater is making itself bigger in a defensive display in response to the much larger photographer who is perceived as a threat. It was using this strategy in order to looks bigger and stronger. I did not feel threatened. All they do is stand up. The only potential danger is physical contact, like trying to hold the animal. In this case they can embrace the attacker with force, using their powerful nails like knives. There is a Brazilian popular expression known as an 'anteater hug' for bad intentioned hugs. After few minutes, the animal moved away.'