Silky Anteater


Silky Anteater
Silky Anteater[1]
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Superorder: Xenarthra
Order: Pilosa
Suborder: Vermilingua
Family: Cyclopedidae
Pocock, 1924
Genus: Cyclopes
Gray, 1821
Species: C. didactylus
Binomial name
Cyclopes didactylus
(Linnaeus, 1758)
Silky Anteater range
Synonyms

Myrmecophaga didactyla Linnaeus, 1758

The Silky Anteater or Pygmy Anteater (Cyclopes didactylus) is a species of anteater from Central and South America, ranging from extreme southern Mexico south to Brazil Delta Amacuro Venezuela and possibly Paraguay. It is the only living species in the genus Cyclopes and the family Cyclopedidae.

It is the smallest member of the anteaters, with total length ranging from 360 to 450 mm (14.1-17.7 in) and usually weighing less than 400 g (0.88 lbs). It has a dense and soft golden brown fur, short snout, partially prehensile tail and two very enlarged claws in each forepaw.

Contents

Subspecies

There are six recognized subspecies:

Cyclopes didactylus catellus - Thomas, 1928

Cyclopes didactylus dorsalis - Gray, 1865

Cyclopes didactylus eva - Thomas, 1902

Cyclopes didactylus ida - Thomas, 1900

Cyclopes didactylus melini - Lönnberg, 1928

Cyclopes didactylus mexicanus - Hollister, 1914

Natural history

CyclothurusDorsalisWolf.jpg

It is a nocturnal and arboreal animal,[3] found in lowland rainforests with continuous canopy where they can move to different places without the need to descend from trees.[3] It can occur at fairly high densities of 0.77 individuals/ha, for example, in some areas. Females have smaller home ranges than males.

The Silky Anteater is a slow moving animal and feeds mainly on ants, between 100 and 8000 a day.[3] Sometimes it can also feed on other insects, such as termites and small coccinellid beetles.[3] The Silky Anteater defecates once a day.[3] Some of those feces, examined by scientists, showed a large quantity of exoskeleton fragments of insects, indicating that the Silky Anteater does not possess either chitinase or chitobiase,[3] digestive enzymes found in insectivorous bats.

It is a solitary animal and gives birth to a single young that is usually placed inside a nest of dead leaves built in tree holes.[3]

Some authors suggest that the Silky Anteater usually dwells in silk cotton trees (genus Ceiba).[3][4] Because of its resemblance to the seed pod fibers of these trees, it can use the trees as camouflage[3] and avoid attacks of predators such as hawks and, especially, harpy eagles. During the day they typically sleep curled up in a ball. Although they are rarely seen in the forest, it is said that they can be found more easily when they are foraging on lianas at night.

When threatened, the Silky Anteater, like other anteaters, defends itself by standing on its hind legs and holding its forefeet close to its face so it can strike any animal that tries to get close with its sharp claws.[3]

References

  1. ^ Gardner, Alfred L. (16 November 2005). "Order Pilosa (pp. 100-103)". In Wilson, Don E., and Reeder, DeeAnn M., eds. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2 vols. (2142 pp.). p. 102. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. http://www.bucknell.edu/msw3/browse.asp?id=11800028. 
  2. ^ Chiarello, A., Miranda, F., Samudio, R. & Members of the IUCN SSC Edentate Specialist Group (2008). Cyclopes didactylus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 28 November 2008.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Bartoz, Suzy, and Anthony Cerda. "Silky Anteater." Benedictine University. 2009. Benedictine University. 16 Aug. 2009 http://www.ben.edu/museum/silky_anteater.asp
  4. ^ "Silky Anteater." WildMagazine.Ca. 16 Aug. 2009 http://www.wildinfo.net/facts/Silkyanteater.asp

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • silky anteater — nykštukinė skruzdėda statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Cyclopes didactylus angl. dwarf anteater; little anteater; pygmy anteater; pygmy silky anteater; silky anteater; two toed anteater vok. zweizehiger …   Žinduolių pavadinimų žodynas

  • silky anteater — noun squirrel sized South American toothless anteater with long silky golden fur • Syn: ↑two toed anteater, ↑Cyclopes didactylus • Hypernyms: ↑anteater, ↑New World anteater • Member Holonyms: ↑Cyclopes, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • silky anteater — /sɪlki ˈæntitə/ (say silkee anteetuh) noun an arboreal, prehensile tailed anteater, Cyclopes didactylus, of tropical South America, about the size of a squirrel and having silky, golden fur. Also, two toed anteater …   Australian English dictionary

  • silky anteater — an arboreal, tropical American anteater, Cyclopes didactylus, about the size of a rat, having a prehensile tail, glossy, golden fur, and two toes on each forelimb. Also called two toed anteater. * * * …   Universalium

  • silky anteater — noun A species of anteater, Cyclopes didactylus, formerly Myrmecophaga didactyla …   Wiktionary

  • pygmy silky anteater — nykštukinė skruzdėda statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Cyclopes didactylus angl. dwarf anteater; little anteater; pygmy anteater; pygmy silky anteater; silky anteater; two toed anteater vok. zweizehiger …   Žinduolių pavadinimų žodynas

  • anteater — /ant ee teuhr/, n. 1. any of several mammals of the family Myrmecophagidae, having a long, tapered snout, extensile tongue, and powerful front claws and feeding chiefly on ants and termites. Cf. giant anteater, silky anteater, tamandua. 2. the… …   Universalium

  • Anteater — Taxobox name = Anteaters image caption = Northern Tamandua ( Tamandua mexicana ) regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Mammalia superordo = Xenarthra ordo = Pilosa subordo = Vermilingua subordo authority = Illiger, 1811 subdivision ranks …   Wikipedia

  • anteater — /ˈæntitə / (say anteetuh) noun 1. any of the echidnas or spiny anteaters of Australia and New Guinea. 2. → numbat. 3. any of three edentates of tropical America, feeding chiefly on termites: a. the ant bear or great anteater. b. the tamandua or… …   Australian English dictionary

  • two-toed anteater — noun squirrel sized South American toothless anteater with long silky golden fur • Syn: ↑silky anteater, ↑Cyclopes didactylus • Hypernyms: ↑anteater, ↑New World anteater • Member Holonyms: ↑Cyclopes, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary


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