Chromosome study of Anteaters (Myrmecophagideae, Xenarthra): a preliminary report
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Anteaters belong to the Order Xenarthra / Family Myrmecophagidae and are the only members without teeth. There are three genera with four living species in the family Myrmecophagidae: Myrmecophaga tridactyla (giant anteater), Tamandua tetradactyla (southern lesser anteater), Tamandua mexicana (northern lesser anteater), and Cyclopes didactylus (silky anteater). The karyotypes of M. tridactyla (2n = 60), T. tetradactyla (2n = 54) and C. didactylus (2n = 64) have already been described. In the present paper, three female and two male specimens of giant anteater and one lesser anteater male were analyzed. The results indicate the existence of a new karyotype in the genus Tamandua, with 2n = 56 chromosomes, which can represent a new lesser anteater species. The karyotype of M. tridactyla was also described, supporting previous reports.