scaly anteater

scaly anteater

scaly anteater: see pangolin.
or scaly anteater

Any of about eight species of armoured placental mammals (genus Manis, order Pholidota) of tropical Asia and Africa. Scales formed of cemented hairs cover the upper body, legs, and tail. Pangolins are 2–6 ft (60–180 cm) long and weigh 10–60 lb (5–27 kg). They have a conical head, no teeth, a long tongue, short legs, and a long prehensile tail. Some are arboreal; terrestrial species live in burrows. Nocturnal animals, pangolins locate prey, mainly termites, by smell and rip open nests with their front claws. When threatened, the pangolin (Malayan for “rolling over”) curls up or emits an odoriferous secretion. Seealso anteater; echidna.

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"Anteater" properly refers to the four species of the suborder Vermilingua native to Mexico, Central America, and tropical South America.

Anteater can also refer to any of several unrelated species which have independently and convergently adapted to fill the same niche of eating ants or termites:

  • Aardvark (earth pig), a medium-sized mammal native to Africa
  • Echidna (spiny anteater), a family of monotremes native to New Guinea and Australia
  • Numbat (formerly Banded Anteater), a small marsupial endemic to western Australia
  • Pangolin (scaly anteater), mammals found in tropical regions of Africa and Asia

See also

ar:آكل النمل (توضيح)

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