Learn more about our impactLearn more about our impact
WWF works to sustain the natural world for the benefit of people and wildlife, collaborating with partners from local to global levels in nearly 100 countries.
The world’s smallest anteater isn’t afraid to put up a fight. When threatened, the silky anteater anchors its tail to a branch, raises its claws to its face like a boxer, and strikes. Yet with an average weight of less than a pound, its best chance for survival is to remain undetected.
The silky anteater is nocturnal and arboreal: It lives its life in the treetops, almost never descending to the ground. Seldom seen, it is the world’s least-studied anteater.
Scientists once thought all silky anteaters were a single species but now believe there are seven or more distinct species. Differences in fur color tipped them off; researchers confirmed the theory using DNA samples from live anteaters and by studying museum specimens.