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.
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.
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.
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.