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LET'S EXPLORE The animal kingdom

A to Z of insect-eating mammals

Northern tamandua, a kind of anteaterNorthern tamandua, a kind of anteaterThese insect-eating mammals are not necessarily related. They all eat insects or other invertebrates such as worms and slugs. Some also feed on seeds, leaves, fruits and nuts. Anteaters, armadillos and sloths all belong to a group of mammals called xenarthrans (pronounced "zen-AR-thrans"). These animals have few or no teeth. Their backbones have extra joints that strengthen and support their bodies when they dig.



The aardvark lives on the grasslands of Africa. At night, it goes hunting for food: ants and termites. It finds them by listening out for them or smelling them. It uses its large, shovel-like nails to break open their nests. Then the aardvark licks the insects up with its long, sticky tongue.



A sloth's normally stationary body is often home to moths, beetles and cockroaches.

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