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 ?
Through a project titled Anteaters and Highways, our partners in Brazil are carrying out vital research to assess the impact of road deaths on giant anteaters over thousands of miles of roads.
Therefore the Anteater used to place her pillow at the end of the
Oregon and UC Irvine have a common opponent as the Anteaters also lost last month to Boise State, 71-64, at the Wooden Legacy in Fullerton, Calif.
Tammy, a 12-year-old tree-climbing anteater, has become a much-loved face at the zoo, famed for her friendly nature, but her sight is not what it once was.
Each of the boxes had 25 to 30 frozen anteaters, said Badillo, but did not give details such as the state of the frozen endangered species.
Four giant anteaters were reported during the Honduran Program of Biological Monitoring (Table 1).
A colony of 11 adult anteaters (7 males, 4 females) and 1 neonate was housed at the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
The Anteaters opened the second half with a 14-6 run to build a 24-point lead, and the Matadors would get no closer than 22.
Simmons says that the anteaters and bats independently evolved tongues that met that challenge.
Currently, large known populations of giant anteaters in Brazil are restricted to a few sites, e.