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Xenarthra

"Xenarthra" is a descriptor in the National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary thesaurus, MeSH (Medical Subject Headings). Descriptors are arranged in a hierarchical structure, which enables searching at various levels of specificity.

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An order of New World mammals characterized by the absence of incisors and canines from among their teeth, and comprising the ARMADILLOS, the SLOTHS, and the anteaters. The order is distinguished from all others by what are known as xenarthrous vertebrae (xenos, strange; arthron, joint): there are secondary, and sometimes even more, articulations between the vertebrae of the lumbar series. The order was formerly called Edentata. (From Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed; Walker's Mammals of the World, 5th ed, vol. I, p515)


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