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The Mammals of Texas - Online Edition



This Order seems to have developed in South America and only recently invaded North America. Its members are bizarre creatures and highly specialized in structure and habits. The toothless anteaters are provided with heavy claws to tear apart termite nests and a long, slender, protrusile, sticky tongue to capture the insects. The slow-moving, plant-eating sloths are tree dwellers, with a rudimentary tail and only two or three toes on each foot. In the large group of armadillos, the presence of a bony carapace is unique among mammals.

The Order is divided into three families, all of which are restricted to Central and South America with the exception of one species, the nine-banded armadillo, which ranges north to the United States.

Family Dasypodidae (armadillos)

Nine-banded Armadillo, Dasypus novemcinctus