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Wild Facts

Silky anteaters have been found to be comprised of several species instead of – the previously thought – one.

Previously, there was just one known species of silky anteater: Cyclopes Didactylus. However, while in Brazil, biologist Flávia Miranda started noticing difference in the color of fur in the anteater populations of the Amazon and Atlantic forest. She began to wonder: Are there more than one species of silky anteater?

In the time span of a decade, Miranda and all of her colleagues went on 10 different explorations in Brazil and Suriname, and combed through history museums in search for information and samples on the biology of silky anteaters and other specimens.

After sorting through and researching the 33 DNA samples, and 280 pieces of anatomical information, Miranda discovered that her initial question was feasible. According to her study, posted December 11 in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, it is possible that there may be up to 7 different species of this furry anteater.

Source: National Geographic

 

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