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 ?
Giant anteaters, which are native to Central and South America, are classed as vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The Anteater did not wish the Lynx to leave her [the Anteater's] house.
Thus, the giant anteatercanbe considered as an intermediate host, being a probable source of infection for humans and wild carnivores through the consumption of raw or undercooked meat from giant anteater.
With a fondness of walking on the public walkways during the open night, her poor eyesight - a feature common to tree-climbing anteaters - has meant that she needed a bit of extra help to navigate the crowds.
Last June, heritage chiefs announced they wanted to repair the anteater but there were few clues as to what it originally looked like.
Reports of the giant anteater were collected as a part of a larger study, the Honduran Program of Biological Monitoring, which took place in Honduras during December 2001-June 2005, and in which specific protected areas of Honduras were monitored for terrestrial mammals.
One of the zoo's most popular attractions is Lucy a giant anteater.
Testing was conducted by hemagglutination inhibition using the anteater influenza isolate (6).
It takes one year for the anteater to reach maturity, and they can grow up to 35 inches (88.
Here's the mascots participating Thursday: Peter the Anteater (UCIrvine); Scotty the Bear (UCRiverside); Musty the Mustang (Cal Poly); PowerCat (Pacific); Tuffy the Titan (Cal State Fullerton); Gunrock (UC Davis); Matty the Matador (CSUN); and Prospector Pete (Long Beach State).
Unwilling to dart the anteater with a tranquilizer gun for fear of injuring the animal, Shaw and his team used long sticks to pin the critter down while staying away from its dangerous forearms and claws.
HER assertion that those who revered the scaly anteater had much in common with the admirers of Abraham and the worshippers of Christ caused disquiet in certain circles.