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1 March 2009 Three-Dimensional Reconstruction of the Xenarthrous Process of the Thoracic and Lumber Vertebrae in the Giant Anteater
Hideki Endo, Teruyuki Komiya, Shinichiro Kawada, Akiko Hayashida, Junpei Kimura, Takuya Itou, Hiroshi Koie, Takeo Sakai
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Abstract

The presacral vertebra of anteaters was examined by three-dimensional CT image analysis of the xenarthrous processes peculiar to the Order Xenarthra. The anteater is equipped with two following articulations in addition to the normal zygapophysial articulation. The dorsal xenarthrous process of the former vertebra articulates to the ventral area of the base of the mammillary process in the later vertebra. The pocket-like structure in the ventral area of the mammillary process receives the dorsal and ventral xenarthrous processes of the former vertebra. The complicated articulations do not obstruct the ability of the giant anteater to flex dorsally and laterally, however aids flexibility and strengthens the caudal thoracic and lumber regions of the animal. The xenarthrous processes and articulations may function as a supporter of the body weight during the bipedal standing posture when the anteater destroys the nests of ants and termites and protects itself from the enemies.

© the Mammalogical Society of Japan
Hideki Endo, Teruyuki Komiya, Shinichiro Kawada, Akiko Hayashida, Junpei Kimura, Takuya Itou, Hiroshi Koie, and Takeo Sakai "Three-Dimensional Reconstruction of the Xenarthrous Process of the Thoracic and Lumber Vertebrae in the Giant Anteater," Mammal Study 34(1), 1-6, (1 March 2009). https://doi.org/10.3106/041.034.0101
Received: 9 July 2007; Accepted: 1 August 2008; Published: 1 March 2009
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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KEYWORDS
CT
giant anteater
lumber vertebrae
Myrmecophaga tridactyla
xenarthrous process
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