First Record of Giant Anteater (Xenarthra, Myrmecophagidae) in North America

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Science  10 Apr 1987:
Vol. 236, Issue 4798, pp. 186-188
DOI: 10.1126/science.236.4798.186


A right metacarpal III represents the first North American record of the giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla). Recovered in northwestern Sonora, Mexico, with a rich vertebrate fauna of early Pleistocene (Irvingtonian) age, it belongs to a cohort of large mammals that dispersed from South America to North America along a savanna corridor. Presumably habitat and climatic changes have subsequently driven this mammalian family more than 3000 kilometers back into Central America from its former expansion into temperate North America.