Sloths, Anteaters and Armadillos
The Order Xenarthra is well known for all the characteristics that their members share
between them. These skills are mainly used as defense mechanisms to achive survival,
knowing this we will comprehend why this interesting mammals behave as they do.
The research is based in this following order
A. All the members of the Xenarthra orderhave developed powerfull claws
B. The coat of the order Xenarthra had been adapted to became a camouflage.
C. Members of the Xenarthra order had became arboreal.
D. Some species of the Xenarthra order have nocturnal habits
A. Armadillos had develop an armor so they can curl-up its body.
G. the Sloths incomprehensible bahavior.
The Xenarthra are a diverse group ofanimals that include the Anteaters,
Sloths, and Armadillos. Previously this order was called edentates that means witout
teeth but this an innacurate description for this animals because the Anteater is the only
one that is toothless.
In the other hand the sloth and armadillos do have simple molars.
However the mouth of this species lack the incisors and canines, besides their molars aresimple, rootless and without enamel only adapted to chew soft leaves or little insects.
One common denominator among the Xenarthra family members is that they have
developed strong and powerfull claws.They use their claws as weapon of defense
especially when they are threathened by predators such as the jaguar that is their main
Anteaters as other animals use theirclaws to defend itself fro predators, that why the
Claws of the anteater are very large and vicious. The Giant anteater has four toes in
front and five at the back, the digits of the forepaw is curl backward to use it to
demolish ants and termites nest.
The Giant Anteater not only used their claws for getting food, they used used when the
predators want to make them their lunch.The Giant Anteater stand up in it two toes
ready to attack then suddenly it use it claws to give a punch to the hungry predator
for this reason the Giant Anteater claws are very large. “The anteater keep it claws
folded inward out of the way resting its weight on its knuckles this give it an inward
curious appearance” ( THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WILDLIFE,1991)
The sloth and tamanduas giveanother usses to its claws, because this animals spend all
the time on trees they hove develop their claws to be stong enough to hook them in the
trees. Hence the sloth can mantain all the day hooked in a tree with its claws that they
are almost impossible to dislodge even when they are sleep .
The scientist use this characteristics of the peculiar sloth to divede them in two groups
the two-toed sloth with two claws and the three-toed sloth with three claws on each
toed Tamanduas are small anteaters that adapted to the life in the trees, this adaptation
take with it another adaptation the claw´s development.
The Tamandua will not only used their claws to open the ant nest as their cousin the
Giant Anteater, besides that Tamandua will use their claws to mantain balance in thetrees,Tamanduas adapt their claws to climb and to keep hooked in the trees of the
Tamanduas use their claws to defend itself from predator. “if is attacked, it will assume
the same tripod defense position as the giant anteater, propped upright on its hind legs”
(THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WILDLIFE,1991). The tamandua will use their claws
ready to stike.
The Armadillos on the other hand,develop it claws to dig in the ground. The
Armadillos dig to find insects that are beneath the ground yet one reason of the success
of the armadillo is is its wide diet.
Armadillos dig on the under the ground to make tunnels in the ground wher they can
live. According to Groliers “Armadillos have its own efficent way of
digging for example the pygmy armadillo burrows with its rong forefeet...