Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What are the differences between a xenarthran and a rodent

While both of these orders are mammals, there are several unique characteristics that distinguish one from another. For example, a xenarthran has unique joints in their backbone that provide extra strength and support when digging and burrowing, few or no teeth and a small brain. Common critters in this group are armadillos and sloths.

Rodents on the other hand, are well known for their gnawing ability and have a pair of incisors in both the top and bottom jaws that never stop growing. Your first thought of a member of this order is a rat but beavers and gophers also fall into this group.

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