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Related subjects: Mammals

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Northern Tamandua
(Tamandua mexicana)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Superorder: Xenarthra
Order: Pilosa
Suborder: Vermilingua
Illiger, 1811


Anteaters are the four mammal species of the suborder Vermilingua commonly known for eating ants and termites. Together with the sloths, they compose the order Pilosa. The name "anteater" is also colloquially applied to the unrelated aardvark, numbat, echidna, and pangolin.

Species include the Giant Anteater Myrmecophaga tridactyla, about 1.8 m (6 ft.) long including the tail; the tamandua or collared Anteater Tamandua tetradactyla, about 90 cm (3 ft.) long; and the Silky Anteater Cyclopes didactylus, about 35 cm (14 in.) long.

The term " spiny anteater" is used to refer to echidnas, which consist of the Tachyglossidae family of the order Monotremata.


Order Pilosa

  • Suborder Folivora ( sloths)
  • Suborder Vermilingua
    • Family Cyclopedidae
      • Genus Cyclopes
        • Silky Anteater ( Cyclopes didactylus)
    • Family Myrmecophagidae
      • Genus Myrmecophaga
        • Giant Anteater ( Myrmecophaga tridactyla)
      • Genus Tamandua
        • Northern Tamandua ( Tamandua mexicana)
        • Southern Tamandua ( Tamandua tetradactyla)

Fun Facts

  • The anteater is the official school mascot for the University of California, Irvine.
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