Giant anteater ( Myrmocophaga tridactyla )
|Flower , 1883|
The tooth arms (pilosa) are an order of mammals . This group includes the anteaters and sloths . Together with the armored articulated animals they form the superordinate order of the articulated animals (Xenarthra).
Sloths and anteaters are highly adapted to their respective way of life and outwardly differ significantly from each other. Anteaters are long-nosed, toothless animals that live on the ground or in trees and feed on insects. The living sloths are short-snouted, herbivorous animals with up to 20 homodont teeth. They live on trees, the ground-dwelling giant sloths are extinct. They differ from the armored articulated animals, which today only appear in the form of armadillos , in the lack of skin armor. While the monophyly of the secondary articular animals as a whole is beyond doubt, the tooth arms are a controversial taxon.
Already at the end of the 18th century, Félix Vicq d'Azyr and Frédéric Cuvier summarized several groups of animals as toothless (Edentata). In addition to the mammals that are now considered to be secondary articulated animals, these also included the ant urchins , pangolins and aardvarks . Today these groups of mammals are only superficially similar and not closely related.
- Gerhard Storch : Xenarthra (Edentata), articulated animals, tooth arms. In: W. Westheide and R. Rieger: Special Zoology. Part 2: vertebrates or skulls. Spektrum Akademischer Verlag, Munich 2004, pp. 504-510, ISBN 3-8274-0307-3 .
- DE Wilson and DM Reeder: Mammal Species of the World. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005. ISBN 0-8018-8221-4