Silky anteater

Also known as pygmy anteater, they are the smallest and most adorable of their insect-eating kind

Quinten Questel

Belonging to a truly petite family of creatures, the Silky anteater is a diminutive marvel, measuring a mere 20 cm and weighing less than a pound. These rarely encountered mammals boast exceptional characteristics, primarily residing in trees and venturing out solely at night in pursuit of insects for sustenance.

This tiny creature is tricky to figure out, but it seems to be a calm and slow-moving animal that doesn’t like competing or working too hard. Its scientific name means “two-toed circle-foot,” referring to its claws on the front feet that help it hold onto branches.

Widely dispersed across tropical America, Silky anteaters favor habitats like secondary-growth woodlands, humid rainforests, and mangroves. Despite their small size, they play a crucial role in maintaining insect populations. Remarkably, there are currently no significant threats jeopardizing their long-term survival.

While occasionally kept as pets in certain areas, these unique anteaters face challenges thriving in captivity. Their specialized needs and nocturnal behavior make it difficult for them to adapt to domestic settings, resulting in shorter lifespans when removed from their natural habitats. Understanding and appreciating the distinct characteristics of the Silky anteater contribute to the ongoing efforts to preserve these fascinating creatures in their native environments.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Belize
2013
Bolivia
2013
Brazil
2013
Colombia
2013
Costa Rica
2013
Ecuador
2013
French Guiana
2013
Guatemala
2013
Guyana
2013
Honduras
2013
Mexico
2013
Nicaragua
2013
Panama
2013
Peru
2013
Suriname
2013
Trinidad & Tobago
2013
Venezuela
2013

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No