Tuesday, February 14, 2017

ZooWeird 76

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Silky anteater. This cute, squirrel-sized critter is a silky anteater, the world’s smallest anteater, rarely seen in their natural habitat due to their small size and their arboreal and nocturnal lifestyle. Silky anteaters can be found in South America from southern Mexico to Brazil and Bolivia, including Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela. The species has not been recorded in El Salvador and it's unclear if it is (or ever was) present there. C. didactylus has long claws on its front feet, used for climbing and tearing open ant-nests. The claws are present on the second and third toes, with the latter being much larger. The fourth is very small and claw-less; the other two are vestigial and not visible. The hind feet have four toes of equal length, each with long claws and a vestigial hallux that is not visible. The ribs are broad and flat, overlapping to form an internal armored casing that protects the chest. The silky anteater is strictly insectivorous and feeds exclusively on arboreal ants. (All animal info from http://www.strangeanimals.info/2014/11/silky-anteater.html#ixzz4YPmNnQG0)

He’s silky, insectivorous.
And very small, as well.
An insect diet—good for him—
For it’s not hard to tell

That if he went for bigger prey,
The laughter just would peal
From all those bigger, fiercer things,
For he would be their meal!

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