anteater


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.

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.
..... Click the link for more information.
. 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.
..... Click the link for more information.
. 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.
..... Click the link for more information.
, 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 ?
Later, a further seven animals - a pelican, beaver, vulture, leopard, anteater and two racoons - were added by sculptor Alexander Carrick, in 1931.
Although the Honduran Program of Biological Monitoring had wide coverage, reports of the giant anteater came only from the Honduran Mosquitia with two reports in the area of Rus Rus, one from Patuca National Park, and one from Tapalwas.
This respiratory disease outbreak among members of an anteater colony was caused by an influenza virus isolate closely related to the human influenza virus (H1N1) strains circulating in the concurrent year.
Ants Hiding in a Log from the Anteater was selected for its low fat and caloric content, simple preparation and great taste that appeals to adults and children alike.
That giant anteater was one of 75 or so that the scientists caught and outfitted with radio collars during a three-year study of anteater ecology and behavior.
To them, the anteater was a voluntary victim in the same way as Christ and the ram in the thicket whom Abraham sacrifices instead of his son Isaac.
Estimates of giant anteater population size or density are scarce, and available data precludes direct comparisons since they were obtained by different methods (Shaw et al.
These include the giant river otter, pampa deer, giant anteater, talking parrot and, eventually, the jaguar.
He was cleared of two counts involving an anteater.
An anteater closes its nostrils to keep ants from crawling up its nose.
Players select one of the famous Pink Panther characters - Pink Panther, The Inspector, Anteater, Red Ant and The Painter - and then try and freeze tag everyone else with an 'icicle missile.
A ZOO'S giant anteater likes a lick of yoghurt after scoffing thousands of insects.