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: Southern 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

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

(giant armadillos)

Middle Eocene to Holocene

 

Genus and species: Priodontes maximus
Common name: Giant armadillo
Classification: Family: Chlamyphoridae – Subfamily: Tolypeutinae
Time: Holocene
Range: South America
Diet: Omnivore

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