One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A mammal of an order distinguished by the lack of incisor and canine teeth. The edentates, which include anteaters, sloths, and armadillos, are all native to Central and South America.
Order Xenarthra (or Edentata)
- ‘Another group of uniquely South American mammals, the edentates (sloths, armadillos and anteaters), survived the competition with the invaders and are still abundant in South America.’
- ‘It became home to a unique zoo of hoofed mammals, edentates, marsupials, and more giant flightless birds (Phorusrachids).’
- ‘The edentates, including the sloths, ant-eaters and armadillos, were originally part of a larger group which included aardvarks and pangolins - all had unique extra movable parts between vertebrae in the lower back.’
- ‘These remains included isolated teeth and a lower jaw of Equus, postcranial remains and lower molars of Mammuthus, a tooth and dermal ossicles of a mylodontid edentate, and glyptodont scutes.’
Early 19th century: from Latin edentatus, past participle of edentare ‘make toothless’, from e- (variant of ex-) ‘out’ + dens, dent- ‘tooth’.
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