name = Anteaters

image_caption = Northern Tamandua
("Tamandua mexicana")
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Mammalia
superordo = Xenarthra
ordo = Pilosa
subordo = Vermilingua
subordo_authority = Illiger, 1811
subdivision_ranks = Families
subdivision =


Anteaters are the four mammal species of the suborder Vermilingua [ [ Giant Anteater Facts - National Zoo| FONZ ] ] commonly known for eating ants and termites. [ [ Giant Anteater ] ] 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")



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Look at other dictionaries:

  • anteater — (n.) 1764, in reference to the South American species; 1868 of the Australian echidna; from ANT (Cf. ant) + agent noun from EAT (Cf. eat) (v.) …   Etymology dictionary

  • anteater — ► NOUN ▪ a mammal with a long snout, feeding on ants and termites …   English terms dictionary

  • anteater — [ant′ēt΄ər] n. any of several mammals of various orders that feed mainly on ants, as the pangolins, echidnas, and esp. ant bears: anteaters have a long, sticky tongue and a long snout …   English World dictionary

  • anteater — /ant ee teuhr/, n. 1. any of several mammals of the family Myrmecophagidae, having a long, tapered snout, extensile tongue, and powerful front claws and feeding chiefly on ants and termites. Cf. giant anteater, silky anteater, tamandua. 2. the… …   Universalium

  • anteater — /ˈæntitə / (say anteetuh) noun 1. any of the echidnas or spiny anteaters of Australia and New Guinea. 2. → numbat. 3. any of three edentates of tropical America, feeding chiefly on termites: a. the ant bear or great anteater. b. the tamandua or… …   Australian English dictionary

  • anteater — noun a) Any of several animals, in suborder Vermilingua, which are noted for eating ants and termites which they catch with their long sticky tongues. b) A common term used of some other unrelated species that feed with ants, including pangolin ( …   Wiktionary

  • anteater — UK [ˈæntˌiːtə(r)] / US [ˈæntˌɪtər] noun [countable] Word forms anteater : singular anteater plural anteaters a tropical animal with a very long nose and tongue that eats ants and other small insects …   English dictionary

  • anteater — noun Date: 1764 any of several mammals that feed largely or entirely on ants or termites: as a. any of a family (Myrmecophagidae) of New World edentates with a long narrow snout, a long tongue, and large salivary glands that includes the giant… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • anteater — [[t]æ̱ntiːtə(r)[/t]] anteaters also ant eater N COUNT An anteater is an animal with a long nose that eats termites or ants. Anteaters live in warm countries …   English dictionary

  • anteater — ant|eat|er [ˈæntˌi:tə US ər] n an animal that has a very long nose and eats small insects …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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