anteater

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anteater,

name applied to various animals that feed on ants, termites, and other insects, but more properly restricted to a completely toothless group of the order Edentata. There are four species classified in three genera, all found in tropical Central and South America. The great anteater, or ant bear (Myrmecophaga), has an elongated, almost cylindrical head and snout, a long sticky tongue, a coarse-haired body about 4 ft (1.2 m) long, and a long, broad tail. The large, sharp claws on the forefeet are weapons of defense and are used to open the hard earth mounds of termites and ants, which are then picked up on the saliva-coated tongue. The tongue extends to a length of about 2 ft (60 cm). The collared, or lesser, anteater (Tamandua), less than half the size of the great anteater, is a short-haired yellowish and black arboreal creature. The arboreal two-toed anteater (Cyclopes) is the size of a squirrel and has a prehensile tail and silky yellow fur. Other animals called anteater are members of other groups. The banded anteater of Australia is a marsupial; the spiny anteater, also of Australia, is a monotreme related to the platypusplatypus
, semiaquatic egg-laying mammal, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, of Tasmania and E Australia. Also called duckbill, or duckbilled platypus, it belongs to the order Monotremata (see monotreme), the most primitive group of living mammals.
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. For the scaly anteater, see pangolinpangolin
, armored, toothless mammal of tropical Asia and Africa. Pangolins range in length from 3 to 6 ft (90–180 cm) including the long, broad tail. Their snouts are narrow and pointed.
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. True anteaters are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Edentata, family Myrmecophagidae.

anteater

[′ant‚ēd·ər]
(vertebrate zoology)
Any of several mammals, in five orders, which live on a diet of ants and termites.

anteater

1. any toothless edentate mammal of the family Myrmecophagidae of Central and South America, esp Myrmecophaga tridactyla (or jubata) (giant anteater), having a long tubular snout used for eating termites
2. scaly anteater another name for pangolin
3. spiny anteater another name for echidna
4. banded anteater another name for numbat
References in periodicals archive ?
Used as a traditional medicine and a delicacy, the meat of anteaters is sold in the international market for $114 per kilo.
Although they are not hunted for meat or fur, giant anteaters are killed because of the danger they represent to hunting dogs (Koster, 2008), and some younger hunters are fearful of the species (T.
The onset of the caretakers' illness coincided with the illness in the anteaters.
Trailing 51-46, the Anteaters (5-18, 2-10) went on a 9-0 run, with Rebecca Maessen giving UCI the lead for good on her 3-pointer with 2:30 left.
Despite--or maybe because of--all those features, anteaters are also one of the more appealing and beautiful of Latin American animals.
This study reported a death toll of 332 giant anteaters resulting directly from this fire and a surviving population of around 100 individuals a few months after the fire.
Studies by Gersh (1971), Roots (1989) and Wallach and Boever (1983) show that anteaters quite readily turn to other foods when ants are unavailable.
He was cleared of two counts involving an anteater.
Those wildfires pose the worst threat to slow-moving anteaters, turtles and capybaras, the world's largest rodents.
The Ayoreo, an indigenous group, lives on the land, and the dry, hot acreage provides habitat for jaguars, giant anteaters, and giant peccaries, an endangered wild pig.
The proposed ordinance would also ban displays of or rides on giraffes, kangaroos, crocodiles, hippopotamuses, emus, mongooses, bears, anteaters, tigers, armadillos, wolves, sea lions, sloths, snakes, hyenas and whales.
Recent additions include the Puente al Sur (Bridge to the South), which introduces visitors to a host of Latin American animals, including giant anteaters, an Andean condor and capybaras, the world's largest rodent; the Australian WalkAbout, a multi-species exhibit featuring kangaroos, wallaroos, wallabies, and emus; and a walk-through aviary for Australian rainbow lorikeets.