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Learn about Anteaters, armadillos, sloths, pangolins and aardvarks with KidsBiology.com
Closely related to anteaters and sloths, armadillos generally have a pointy or shovel-shaped snout and small eyes. They vary widely in size and color, from the 6-inch-long (15-centimeter-long), salmon-colored pink fairy armadillo to the 5-foot-long (1. 5-meter-long), dark-brown giant armadillos. Others have black, red, gray, or yellowish coloring.
Apart from being among the most unusual of Neotropical creatures, the xenarthrans are together one of the most ancient groups of mammals — perhaps descendants of the earliest radiation of mammalian species. Despite their strange specializations and wide divergence of body forms, then, the xenarthrans embody a unique living history of mammalian evolution. And this — together with the important roles they play in a diversity of ecosystems across the continent — compels us to fight on their behalf, before the rising tides of potential extinction have the chance to carry them away. Here we share information on xenarthrans and the IUCN/SSC Anteater, Sloth and Armadillo.