Xenarthrans | Xenarthra

Xenarthra, or Xenarthrans, are native to the Americans, specifically in South America. Most Xenarthrans are already extinct and the only living species are the tree sloth, anteaters, and armadillos. These animals have unique traits. Most of their physical features are primitive with absent, reduced, or highly specialized teeth, reduced vision, and lower metabolic rates. They are mostly solitary and practice polygamy during mating with females taking full responsibility for raising the young. Females give birth to live offspring. During an attack, some species can either roll their body into a hard-shelled ball like the three-banded armadillo or use claws for protection like the anteater.

What are the primary traits of a Xenarthran?

Xenarthrans include anteaters, armadillos, and sloths. The most common feature they share is possessing limbs with sharp claws. These limbs are adapted to digging and climbing. Other features include extra joints on their backbone, possession of ossified sternal ribs, and a secondary scapular spine. They also have low metabolic rates and internal testes.

What do Xenarthrans eat?

Not all Xenarthrans have the same diet. Anteaters are mostly insectivores feeding on ants and termites, while sloths are folivorous feeding on leaves and twigs. Armadillos are omnivores, feeding on plant matter and small animals. The shape of their claws and dental formulas can be used to identify the food a Xenarthran eats.

What are the common habitats for Xenarthrans?

Xenarthrans are found in the Americas, specifically South and Central America. This is in the tropical rainforest and even temperate grasslands. In these environments, you will find sloths being arboreal while armadillos and anteaters are terrestrials. Besides, they are also solitary and can be nocturnal or diurnal. However, this will depend on the area a Xenarthran lives in.

Xenarthrans Guides
Browse through our curated Xenarthrans Guides for additional categorizations, tips, details, variations, styles, and histories of Xenarthrans. Guides provide additional insights into the unique properties and shared relationships between elements.
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5.9”-12.2” | 15-31 cm (Body)
7.1”-14.2” | 18-36 cm
16.5”-31.5” | 42-80 cm (Body)
4.9-13.9 lb | 2.2-6.3 kg
25-40 years
Brown-Throated Three-Toed Sloth
31.000
36.000
80.000
6.300
40.00
1750
GUIDE
3D
Brown-Throated Three-Toed Sloth
21.7”-25.6” | 55-65 cm
11.8”-13.8” | 30-35 cm
39.4”-47.2” | 100-120 cm (Body)
60-110 lb | 27-50 kg
14-26 years
Giant Anteater
65.000
35.000
120.000
50.000
26.00
23400
GUIDE
3D
Giant Anteater
12.2”-16.1” | 31-41 cm
11.4”-14.6” | 29-37 cm
29.5”-37.8” | 75-96 cm (Body)
39.7-72.8 lb | 18-33 kg
12-16 years
Giant Armadillo
41.000
37.000
96.000
33.000
16.00
11600
GUIDE
3D
Giant Armadillo
6.3”-8.7” | 16-22 cm (Body)
7.1”-9.8” | 18-25 cm
21.25”-29.1” | 54-74 cm (Body)
9.9-23.1 lb | 4.5-10.5 kg
12-43 years
Hoffmann's Two-Toed Sloth
22.000
25.000
74.000
10.500
43.00
1300
GUIDE
3D
Hoffmann's Two-Toed Sloth
6.3”-10.2” | 16-26 cm (Body)
7.1”-11.8” | 18-30 cm
21.25”-34.6” | 54-88 cm (Body)
8.8-24.3 lb | 4-11 kg
20-40 years
Linnaeus's Two-Toed Sloth
26.000
30.000
88.000
11.000
40.00
1000
GUIDE
3D
Linnaeus's Two-Toed Sloth
6.7”-10.2” | 17-26 cm (Body)
8.7”-11.8” | 22-30 cm
21.7”-29.9” | 55-76 cm (Body)
8.8-22 lb | 4-10 kg
12-40 years
Maned Three-Toed Sloth
26.000
30.000
76.000
10.000
40.00
1000
GUIDE
3D
Maned Three-Toed Sloth
7.1”-11” | 18-28 cm
7.1”-10.2” | 18-26 cm
15”-22.8” | 38-58 cm (Body)
17.6-37.5 lb | 8-17 kg
12-23 years
Nine-banded Armadillo
28.000
26.000
58.000
17.000
23.00
5400
GUIDE
3D
Nine-banded Armadillo
9”-15” | 23-38 cm
7.5”-11.8” | 19-30 cm
18.5”-30.3” | 47-77 cm (Body)
6.6-12 lb | 3-5.4 kg
7-10 years
Northern Tamandua
38.000
30.000
77.000
5.400
10.00
2500
GUIDE
3D
Northern Tamandua
6.3”-9.8” | 16-25 cm (Body)
7.5”-11.8” | 19-30 cm
18.1”-29.9” | 46-76 cm (Body)
6.6-14.3 lb | 3-6.5 kg
30-40 years
Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth
25.000
30.000
76.000
6.500
40.00
1030
GUIDE
3D
Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth
Pichi
20150
4.7”-7.1” | 12-18 cm
4.1”-5.9” | 10.5-15 cm
10.2”-13.8” | 26-35 cm (Body)
1.5-3.3 lb | .7-1.5 kg
9-13 years
Pichi
18.000
15.000
35.000
1.500
13.00
20150
GUIDE
3D
Pichi
1.2”-1.8” | 3-4.5 cm
.8”-1.2” | 2-3 cm
3.15”-4.7” | 8-12 cm (Body)
.22-.26 lb | .1-.12 kg
3-4 years
Pink Fairy Armadillo
4.500
3.000
12.000
0.120
4.00
27600
GUIDE
3D
Pink Fairy Armadillo
4.7”-5.5” | 12-14 cm (Body)
5.9”-6.7” | 15-17 cm
17.3”-20.9” | 44-53 cm (Body)
5.5-7.7 lb | 2.5-3.5 kg
30-40 years
Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth
14.000
17.000
53.000
3.500
40.00
2950
GUIDE
3D
Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth
4.3”-8.3” | 11-21 cm
3.9”-7.1” | 10-18 cm
8.7”-16.5” | 22-42 cm (Body)
.66-2.9 lb | .3-1.3 kg
9-16 years
Screaming Hairy Armadillo
21.000
18.000
42.000
1.300
16.00
2650
GUIDE
3D
Screaming Hairy Armadillo
9”-11.4” | 23-29 cm
7.1”-8.7” | 18-22 cm
13.8”-17.7” | 35-45 cm (Body)
.4-.9 lb | .18-.4 kg
2-3 years
Silky Anteater
29.000
22.000
45.000
0.400
3.00
6900
GUIDE
3D
Silky Anteater
7.5”-9.8” | 19-25 cm
6.3”-7.9” | 16-20 cm
15.75”-19.7” | 40-50 cm (Body)
7.1-14.3 lb | 3.2-6.5 kg
15-22 years
Six-Banded Armadillo
25.000
20.000
50.000
6.500
22.00
820
GUIDE
3D
Six-Banded Armadillo
10.6”-17.3” | 27-44 cm
8.3”-13.8” | 21-35 cm
20.9”-35” | 53-89 cm (Body)
8-19 lb | 3.6-8.6 kg
7-9 years
Southern Tamandua
44.000
35.000
89.000
8.600
9.00
3500
GUIDE
3D
Southern Tamandua
Pink Fairy Armadillo (Chlamyphorus truncatus)
Comparison drawing of the Pink Fairy Armadillo compared to other armadillos

The Pink Fairy Armadillo (Chlamyphorus truncatus) is a solitary desert animal inhabiting the sun dunes, shrubby grasslands, and sandy plains of Central Argentina. It is identified by its spatula-shaped tail, flexible dorsal shell, silky yellowish white fur, and small eyes. This armadillo lacks visible ears and the rear of its tail is diamond-shaped and flat. It is nocturnal and consumes both insects and plants. Other unique features the pink fairy armadillo possesses are a torpedo-shaped body to reduce drag, relying mainly on touch and hearing, and possessing enormous claws on the front and hind limbs for digging burrows.

The Pink Fairy Armadillo has a body length in the range of 3.15”-4.7” (8-12 cm) and total weight of .22-.26 lb (.1-.12 kg). The Pink Fairy Armadillo has an estimated standing height between 1.2”-1.8” (3-4.5 cm), body width of .8”-1.2” (2-3 cm), and tail length of 1”-1.38” (2.5-3.5 cm). The typical lifespan of the Pink Fairy Armadillo is between 3-4 years.

Set of scaled side and front drawings of the Pink Fairy Armadillo
The Pink Fairy Armadillo (Chlamyphorus truncatus) is a solitary desert animal inhabiting the sun dunes, shrubby grasslands, and sandy plains of Central Argentina. It is identified by its spatula-shaped tail, flexible dorsal shell, silky yellowish white fur, and small eyes.

The Pink Fairy Armadillo has a body length in the range of 3.15”-4.7” (8-12 cm) and total weight of .22-.26 lb (.1-.12 kg). The Pink Fairy Armadillo has an estimated standing height between 1.2”-1.8” (3-4.5 cm), body width of .8”-1.2” (2-3 cm), and tail length of 1”-1.38” (2.5-3.5 cm). The typical lifespan of the Pink Fairy Armadillo is between 3-4 years.

Set of scaled side and front drawings of the Pink Fairy Armadillo
Pink Fairy Armadillo (Chlamyphorus truncatus)
Height:
1.2”-1.8” | 3-4.5 cm
Width:
.8”-1.2” | 2-3 cm
Length:
3.15”-4.7” | 8-12 cm (Body)
Depth:
Weight:
.22-.26 lb | .1-.12 kg
Area:

Tail Length: 1”-1.38” | 2.5-3.5 cm

Scientific Name
Chlamyphorus truncatus
Lifespan
3-4 years

Drawings include:

Pink Fairy Armadillo side view, front

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Silky Anteater (Cyclopes didactylus)
Comparison illustration of the size of a Silky Anteater to other species of anteaters

The Silky Anteater (Cyclopes didactylus) has unique features. Its hind feet are modified for climbing and is mostly arboreal and nocturnal. It inhabits the forests of Central and South America and is considered the smallest anteater. For this reason, it is sometimes called pygmy anteater. It feeds on arboreal insects and termites and is also an opportunistic feeder. The underparts and limbs can be pale, with dark brown streaks and the sole of the feet red. The eyes are black and the face is short, and it has partial prehensile tails.

The Silky Anteater has a body length in the range of 13.8”-17.7” (35-45 cm) and total weight of .4-.9 lb (.18-.4 kg). The Silky Anteater has an estimated standing height between 9”-11.4” (23-29 cm), body width of 7.1”-8.7” (18-22 cm), and tail length of 6.7”-9.4” (17-24 cm). The typical lifespan of the Silky Anteater is between 2-3 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Silky Anteater in various poses with dimensions
The Silky Anteater (Cyclopes didactylus) has unique features. Its hind feet are modified for climbing and is mostly arboreal and nocturnal. It inhabits the forests of Central and South America and is considered the smallest anteater. For this reason, it is sometimes called pygmy anteater.

The Silky Anteater has a body length in the range of 13.8”-17.7” (35-45 cm) and total weight of .4-.9 lb (.18-.4 kg). The Silky Anteater has an estimated standing height between 9”-11.4” (23-29 cm), body width of 7.1”-8.7” (18-22 cm), and tail length of 6.7”-9.4” (17-24 cm). The typical lifespan of the Silky Anteater is between 2-3 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Silky Anteater in various poses with dimensions
Silky Anteater (Cyclopes didactylus)
Height:
9”-11.4” | 23-29 cm
Width:
7.1”-8.7” | 18-22 cm
Length:
13.8”-17.7” | 35-45 cm (Body)
Depth:
Weight:
.4-.9 lb | .18-.4 kg
Area:

Tail Length: 6.7”-9.4” | 17-24 cm

Scientific Name
Cyclopes didactylus
Lifespan
2-3 years

Drawings include:

Silky Anteater side view, front

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Giant Anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla)
Comparison drawing of the Giant Anteater compared to other anteaters

The most common feature of the Giant Anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) is the long distinctive snout covering a long tongue. It is the largest in the family of anteaters and is mostly found in the forests, grasslands, and swamps of Central and South America. It is insectivorous and terrestrial. The giant anteater has a distinctive colored pelage, bushy tail, elongated snout, long fore claws, and small eyes and ears. The fur on the body is thick and coarse and brown with occasional strips of black and white on the shoulder. It is a solitary animal, except for mating or mothers with young ones. Besides, it is diurnal.

The Giant Anteater has a body length in the range of 39.4”-47.2” (100-120 cm) and total weight of 60-110 lb (27-50 kg). The Giant Anteater has an estimated standing height between 21.7”-25.6” (55-65 cm), body width of 11.8”-13.8” (30-35 cm), and tail length of 25.6”-35.4” (65-90 cm). The typical lifespan of the Giant Anteater is between 14-26 years.

Set of scaled side and front drawings of the Giant Anteater
The most common feature of the Giant Anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) is the long distinctive snout covering a long tongue. It is the largest in the family of anteaters and is mostly found in the forests, grasslands, and swamps of Central and South America. It is insectivorous and terrestrial.

The Giant Anteater has a body length in the range of 39.4”-47.2” (100-120 cm) and total weight of 60-110 lb (27-50 kg). The Giant Anteater has an estimated standing height between 21.7”-25.6” (55-65 cm), body width of 11.8”-13.8” (30-35 cm), and tail length of 25.6”-35.4” (65-90 cm). The typical lifespan of the Giant Anteater is between 14-26 years.

Set of scaled side and front drawings of the Giant Anteater
Giant Anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla)
Height:
21.7”-25.6” | 55-65 cm
Width:
11.8”-13.8” | 30-35 cm
Length:
39.4”-47.2” | 100-120 cm (Body)
Depth:
Weight:
60-110 lb | 27-50 kg
Area:

Tail Length: 25.6”-35.4” | 65-90 cm

Scientific Name
Myrmecophaga tridactyla
Lifespan
14-26 years

Drawings include:

Giant Anteater side view, front

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Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth (Bradypus tridactylus)
Comparison illustration of the size of a Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth to other species of anteaters

The lack of tail and external ears, a slightly rounded head, and a blunt nose are the features used to identify the Pale-throated Three-toed Sloth (Bradypus tridactylus). It is found in the tropical rainforest in southern Central America to north-eastern Argentina in trees with dense foliage. The hair is long and coarse, with some patches of small visible algae, giving it a greenish appearance. Males are identified by an orange or bright yellow patch on their backs. This sloth is arboreal, solitary, existing only inside the forest. It is also slow-moving, an excellent swimmer, and is mostly found hanging upside down. Though it can stand on its feet, it cannot walk on them.

The Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth has a body length in the range of 18.1”-29.9” (46-76 cm) and total weight of 6.6-14.3 lb (3-6.5 kg). The Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth has a body height between 6.3”-9.8” (16-25 cm), body width of 7.5”-11.8” (19-30 cm), and tail length of .8”-4.3” (2-11 cm). The typical lifespan of the Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth is between 30-40 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth in various poses with dimensions
The lack of tail and external ears, a slightly rounded head, and a blunt nose are the features used to identify the Pale-throated Three-toed Sloth (Bradypus tridactylus). It is found in the tropical rainforest in southern Central America to north-eastern Argentina in trees with dense foliage.

The Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth has a body length in the range of 18.1”-29.9” (46-76 cm) and total weight of 6.6-14.3 lb (3-6.5 kg). The Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth has a body height between 6.3”-9.8” (16-25 cm), body width of 7.5”-11.8” (19-30 cm), and tail length of .8”-4.3” (2-11 cm). The typical lifespan of the Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth is between 30-40 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth in various poses with dimensions
Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth (Bradypus tridactylus)
Height:
6.3”-9.8” | 16-25 cm (Body)
Width:
7.5”-11.8” | 19-30 cm
Length:
18.1”-29.9” | 46-76 cm (Body)
Depth:
Weight:
6.6-14.3 lb | 3-6.5 kg
Area:

Tail Length: .8”-4.3” | 2-11 cm

Scientific Name
Bradypus tridactylus
Lifespan
30-40 years

Drawings include:

Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth side view, front

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Six-Banded Armadillo (Euphractus sexcinctus)
Comparison illustration of the size of a Six-Banded Armadillo to other species of armadillo

The savannah and even drier areas of eastern South America (Euphractus sexcinctus) are the ideal places to find the Six-banded Armadillo and its burrows. Some communities call it the yellow armadillo. A unique feature of this armadillo is the reddish-brown or pale yellow carapace covered with white bristle-like hairs. The forefeet has five toes. It is solitary, alert, and omnivore, with a good sense of smell, but has less-developed eyesight. The head is pointed and flatted and is also covered by large plates with distinctive patterns. Females give birth to live young ones.

The Six-Banded Armadillo has a body length in the range of 15.75”-19.7” (40-50 cm) and total weight of 7.1-14.3 lb (3.2-6.5 kg). The Six-Banded Armadillo has an estimated standing height between 7.5”-9.8” (19-25 cm), body width of 6.3”-7.9” (16-20 cm), and tail length of 7.9”-9.8” (20-25 cm). The typical lifespan of the Six-Banded Armadillo is between 15-22 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Six-Banded Armadillo in various poses with dimensions
The savannah and even drier areas of eastern South America (Euphractus sexcinctus) are the ideal places to find the Six-banded Armadillo and its burrows. Some communities call it the yellow armadillo. A unique feature of this armadillo is the reddish-brown or yellow carapace covered with white hair.

The Six-Banded Armadillo has a body length in the range of 15.75”-19.7” (40-50 cm) and total weight of 7.1-14.3 lb (3.2-6.5 kg). The Six-Banded Armadillo has an estimated standing height between 7.5”-9.8” (19-25 cm), body width of 6.3”-7.9” (16-20 cm), and tail length of 7.9”-9.8” (20-25 cm). The typical lifespan of the Six-Banded Armadillo is between 15-22 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Six-Banded Armadillo in various poses with dimensions
Six-Banded Armadillo (Euphractus sexcinctus)
Height:
7.5”-9.8” | 19-25 cm
Width:
6.3”-7.9” | 16-20 cm
Length:
15.75”-19.7” | 40-50 cm (Body)
Depth:
Weight:
7.1-14.3 lb | 3.2-6.5 kg
Area:

Tail Length: 7.9”-9.8” | 20-25 cm

Scientific Name
Euphractus sexcinctus
Lifespan
15-22 years

Drawings include:

Six-Banded Armadillo side view, front

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