Monday, June 24, 2013

Silky 'Dwarf' Anteater

Hiding in the treetops...
The anteater depicted below, is the dwarf and/or silky anteater, which is one of several South American species.  This little critter is hard to find.  ...No larger than a squirrel, it lives in remote tropical forests.  It spends its days sleeping, curled up high in the trees.  It moves only at night, and even then, it doesn't move around a whole heck of a lot.  In general, the dwarf anteater never comes to the ground.

Although this little creature is a tree-dweller, it has no thumb.  Each hand has only two fingers, but it also has strong, curving claws that make grasping easy.  In addition, the silky anteater is helped to be at home in the trees by a strong, prehensile tail - longer than its body.  This tail supports it when it moves from one branch to another.  The tail also steadies the dwarf, silky anteater when it uses its claws for defense or to dig out ant and termite nests, as that is its only source of food.   Its mouth is larger and its snout is shorter than those of other anteaters.

Quick description:  Silky anteaters are the smallest living anteaters, and also have a proportionately shorter face and larger cranium than other species. Adults have a total length ranging from 14 to 18 inches, including a tail that averages 6.7 to 9.4 inches long, and weigh anything from 6.2 to 14 ounces. They have dense and soft fur, which ranges from grey to yellowish in color, and has a silvery sheen. Many subspecies have darker, often brownish, streaks, and paler underparts or limbs. The eyes are black, and the soles of the feet are red.

The silky anteater lives alone except during mating season.  The single baby is cared for by both parents.  It is fed first on milk, then on an insect broth regurgitated by the parents.  I know, it sounds a little gross when I mention regurgitation being used for feed, but hey, that's the way they roll.  Oh, the young anteater also rides on its parents' back (how cute).  Anyway, check out this little devil below:


---End of Post "Silky 'Dwarf' Anteater"

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