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(vertebrate zoology)
A small family of arboreal anteaters in the order Edentata.



(anteaters), a family of mammals of the order Edentata. There are three genera, each embracing a single species. The giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) has a body length of 100–120 cm and a tail length of 60–90 cm; the animal weighs 18–23 kg. The tamandua (Tamandua tetradactyla) is about 55 cm long and has a tail measuring about 55 cm; this species weighs 3–5 kg. The silky anteater (Cyclopes didactylus) has a body length of up to 18 cm and a tail length of up to 20 cm.

Anteaters are generously covered with hair; for example, the hair on the back and tail of the giant anteater is up to 40 cm long. The snout is tubular, and there are no teeth. The front limbs have powerful and long claws (up to 10 cm) on the second and third fingers. The tail of tamanduas and silky anteaters is prehensile and naked at the end.

Anteaters are distributed from Mexico to Bolivia, Brazil, and northern Argentina. They inhabit tropical forests and shrub savannas. The animals are terrestrial (giant anteater), arboreal (silky anteater), or terrestrial-arboreal (tamandua). They are mainly crepuscular and nocturnal. Anteaters feed primarily on ants and termites; they destroy the insect nests with their front paws and gather the insects with their long, wormlike, sticky tongues. (The tongue of the giant anteater is up to 60 cm long.) Anteaters reproduce once a year, bearing one young. The female carries the youngster on her back.

The giant anteater, which has been almost killed off in some regions, is now a protected species and may be seen in many zoos.


References in periodicals archive ?
Clinical disorders observed in anteaters (Myrmecophagidae, Edentata) in captivity.
Orden Familia IU CN 2008 DS 034 CITES 2010 Cingulata Myrmecophagidae Myrmecophaga tridactyla VU II Primates Cebidae Saguinus fuscicollis II Aotus azarae II Cebus apella II Saimiri boliviensis II Pitheciidae Callicebus aureipalatii II Atelidae Alouatta sara II Ateles chamek EN VU II Lagothrix cana EN VU II Rodentia Cuniculidae Cuniculus paca III Carnivora Felidae Leopardus pardalis I Puma concolor I Ursidae Tremarctos ornatus VU EN I Perissodactyla Tapiridae Tapirus terrestris VU VU II Cetartiodactyla Tayassuidae Pecari tajacu II Tayassu pecari II
Pilosa: Myrmecophagidae: Tamandua mexicana: MHN-UCC 14E [masculinidad], 8 de octubre de 1938.
land turtle 11 11 14 13 Podocnemis turtle of the 11 11 13 12 expansa Amazonia Kinosternon mud turtle 02 02 01 01 scorpioides BIRDS Crypturellus soui littler 01 01 -- -- tinamou Tinamidae tinamou 01 01 -- -- MAMMALS DIDELPHIMORPHIA Didelphis opossum 78 81 (a) 47 44 (a) marsupialis XENARTHRA Myrmecophagidae giant anteater 06 06 -- -- Bradypus sloth 12 13 04 04 variegatus Dasypodidae armadillo 54 56 (a) 25 23 PRIMATES Alouatta belzebul howler monkey 05 05 01 01 CARNIVORA Cerdocyon thous fox 01 01 -- -- Procyon raccoon 01 01 -- -- cancrivorus Nasua nasua coati 01 01 -- -- Panthera onca jaguar 08 08 -- -- PERISSODACTYLA Tapirus tapir 06 06 02 02 terrestris ARTIODACTYLA Tayassu pecari white-lipped 09 09 04 04 peccary Pecari tajacu collared 08 08 03 03 peccary Mazama sp.
Los miembros de las familias Bradypodidae, Megalonychidae, Myrmecophagidae y Cyclopedidae--antiguos integrantes de Xenarthra--ahora se clasifican en el orden Pilosa (Gardner, 2005b, 2008).
Cuvier, 1825 Priodontes Amazonia, Ama, Ara, Caq, 0-500 maximus (Kerr, Orinoquia Met, Vau, Vic 1792) PILOSA Familia Bradypodidae Bradypus Linnaeus, 1758 Bradypus Colombia 0-2160 variegatus Schinz, 1825 Familia Megalonychidae Choloepus Illiger, 1811 Choloepus Amazonia, Ama, Ant, Cal, 0-2000 didactylus Andina Caq, Cau, Cun, (Linnaeus, Hui, Met, Qui, 1758) San, VdC Choloepus Caribe, Ant, Cau, Ces, 0-3200 hoffmanni Pacifica Cho, Cor, Nar, Peters, 1858 Put, Suc Familia Cyclopedidae Cyclopes Gray, 1821 Cyclopes Colombia 0-1300 didactylus (Linnaeus, 1758) Familia Myrmecophagidae Tamandua Gray, 1825 Tamandua Andina, Caribe, Ant, Atl, Boy, 0-1500 mexicana Pacifica, Ser.
ORDEN PILOSA Familia Myrmecophagidae Tamandua mexicana (de Saussure, 1860) Oso hormiguero, brazo fuerte
Orden Pilosa Flower, 1883 Familia Myrmecophagidae Gray, 1825 Tamandua tetradactyla (Linnaeus, 1758)--Kaguare, Tamandua
Sin embargo, entre los Eimeria que parasitan a Myrmecophagidae y Megalonychidae, la sistematica parece ser mas precisa y hasta el presente 7 especies han sido descriptas y otras 2 no identificadas (Duszynski et al., 2000).
Myrmecophagidae; luego se trata por separado a ambos ordenes y se presentan claves de las subfamilias, tribus, generos y especies.