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banded anteater

an Australian marsupial, Myrmecobius fasciatus, feeding on termites and having the body marked with whitish transverse bars: nearly extinct.
Also called numbat. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Encyclopedia Article for banded anteater


((Myrmecobius fasciatus), marsupial mammal of the family Dasyuridae (some authorities classify it as a family in its own right, Myrmecobiidae). It forages by day for termites in forests of southwestern Australia. Formerly widespread across southern Australia, the numbat is now restricted to the southwestern corner of the country and is regarded as an endangered species. It has a squat body and small, pointed head, together about 20 cm (8 inches) long, and a 15-centimetre (6-inch) bushy tail. Its coat is gray-brown to reddish brown, with about eight transverse white stripes on the rump. The teeth are small, and there are extra molars-50-52 teeth in all. The tongue is extensible and sticky, and the forefeet are strong-clawed, for digging. The numbat is pouchless; it normally has four young a year. It is the official animal emblem of the Australian state of Western Australia.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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