Prehistoric Models: Xenarthra

(anteaters, sloths, and armadillos)

Mammals are a class animals defined as warm-blooded vertebrates, distinguished by the possession of hair or fur, the secretion of milk by females for the nourishment of the young, and (typically) the birth of live young (with only two modern exceptions).

Xenarthra meaning “alien or foreign joint” is a clade of placental mammals found in North, Central, and South America. The term “foreign joint” is inreference of their vertebral joints, which have extra articulations that are different than other mammals. This Superorder includes armadillos, tree sloths, anteaters, and their fossil relatives ground sloths, glyptodonts, and pampatheres. to see my fossil Xenarthrans click here.

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Superclass: Tetrapoda – Class: Mammalia – Superorder: Xenarthra – Order: Pilosa – Suborder: Folivora – Family Megatheriidae 

(Ground sloths)

Late Oligocene to Late Pleistocene 

 

Genus and species: Megatherium americanum

Name meaning: Large beast from America

Classification: Family: Megatherium

Time: Early Pliocene to Early Holocene

Range: Central South America

Diet: Herbivore

Genus and species: Megatherium americanum

Name meaning: Large beast from America

Classification: Family: Megatherium

Time: Early Pliocene to Early Holocene

Range: Central South America

Diet: Herbivore

Genus and species: Megatherium americanum

Name meaning: Large beast from America

Classification: Family: Megatherium

Time: Early Pliocene to Early Holocene

Range: Central South America

Diet: Herbivore

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Superclass: Tetrapoda – Class: Mammalia – Superorder: Xenarthra – Order: Pilosa – Suborder: Folivora

(Sloths)

Early Oligocene to Holocene

 

Genus and species: Bradypus tridactylus

Common name: Three-toed sloths

Classification: Family: Bradypodidae

Time: Holocene

Range: Central South America

Diet: Herbivore

Genus and species: Choloepus hoffmanni

Common name: Two-toed sloths

Classification: Family: Choloepodidae

Time: Holocene

Range: Central South America

Diet: Herbivore

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Superclass: Tetrapoda – Class: Mammalia – Superorder: Xenarthra – Order: Pilosa – Suborder: Vermilingua – Family: Myrmecophagidae

(Anteater)

Early Miocene to Holocene

 

Genus and species: Myrmecophaga tridactyla

Common name: Giant anteater

Classification: Family: Myrmecophagidae

Time: Miocene to Holocene

Range: North, Central, and  South America

Diet: Insectivore

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Superclass: Tetrapoda – Class: Mammalia – Superorder: Xenarthra – Order: Cingulata – Family: Chlamyphoridae – Subfamily: Glyptodontinae

(“Giant armadillos”)

Early Oligocene to Holocene

 

Genus and species: Doedicurus clavicaudatus

Common name: Giant armodilla

Classification: Family: Glyptodontinae

Time: Pleistocene to Holocene

Range: South America

Diet: Herbivore

Genus: Glyptodon 

Common name: Giant armodilla

Classification: Family: Glyptodontinae

Time: Pleistocene

Range: North, Central, and  South America

Diet: Herbivore

Genus: Glyptodon 

Common name: Giant armodilla

Classification: Family: Glyptodontinae

Time: Pleistocene

Range: North, Central, and  South America

Diet: Herbivore

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Superclass: Tetrapoda – Class: Mammalia – Superorder: Xenarthra – Order: Cingulata – Family: Dasypodidae

(Armadillos)

Early Eocene to Holocene

 

Genus and species: Dasypus novemcinctus

Common name: Nine-banned armadillo

Classification: Family: Dasypodidae

Time: Holocene

Range: North, Central, and  South America

Diet: Omnivore

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