One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small nocturnal arboreal anteater with a naked prehensile tail, native to tropical America.
Genus Tamandua, family Myrmecophagidae: two species
- ‘The tamandua feeds on ants and termites which it catches with its long, sticky tongue.’
- ‘Some mammals, like tree pangolins and tamanduas eat arboreal ants and termites.’
- ‘The southern tamandua has an elongated snout and is covered by creamy yellow-brown fur.’
- ‘And when we landed, a tamandua was busy breaking into a termite mound beside the runway.’
- ‘As well as strong claws, tamanduas have powerful prehensile tails to give them additional purchase when climbing.’
Early 17th century: via Portuguese from Tupi tamanduá, from taly ‘ant’ + monduar ‘hunter’.
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