Eurotamandua

Name: Eurotamandua ‭(‬European Tamandua‭)‬.
Phonetic: Yoo-roe-tam-an-doo-ah.
Named By: Gerhard Stroch‭ ‬-‭ ‬1981.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Mammalia,‭ ‬Afredentata,‭ ‬Eurotamanduidae.i.
Species: E.‭ ‬joresi.
Diet: Insectivore.
Size: Around‭ ‬90‭ ‬centimetres long.
Known locations: Germany‭ ‬-‭ ‬Messel Pit.
Time period: Late Ypresian of the Eocene.
Fossil representation: Single but almost complete specimen.

       Eurotamandua acquired its name from its similarity to the modern day Tamandua,‭ ‬better known as an‭ ‘‬anteater‭’‬.‭ ‬However,‭ ‬the Tamandua is a member of the Xenarthra,‭ ‬and although Eurotamandua was initially assigned to this group,‭ ‬more modern thinking and analysis leans more towards Eurotamandua being a pangolin.‭ ‬Although still similar,‭ ‬this would mean that Eurotamandua possibly had keratinous scales covering the body rather than a thick coat of fur like anteaters have.‭ ‬This has also given rise to the idea that another extinct genus called Eomanis is actually a juvenile of Eurotamandua.‭ ‬If proven then this would see Eurotamandua become a synonym to Eomanis,‭ ‬which essentially means the Eurotamandua specimen will be renamed as one for Eomanis.‭ ‬Further support for this idea comes from the fact that both Eurotamandua and Eomanis are known from the same fossil deposit.
       Classification issues aside,‭ ‬we can be almost one hundred percent certain about the lifestyle of Eurotamandua.‭ ‬The snout of Eurotamandua is long,‭ ‬toothless and with weak jaw closing muscles.‭ ‬These are exactly the same key skull features found in other anteaters,‭ ‬with further evidence for a specialised ant eating diet coming from numerous remains of ants that were preserved along with the Eurotamandua type specimen.‭ ‬Eurotamandua also had large and robust claws that would have easily ripped open ant nests so that Eurotamandua could flick out their long tongues and‭ ‬consume large quantities of ants.‭ ‬It is also possible that Eurotamandua may have been able to use these claws for climbing trees in order to keep out of the way of ground dwelling predators.



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