So, here are the rules: To answer, follow us on Twitter and tweet at us with the hashtag #mysteryanimal. For example:
Hey @PopSci, is the #mysteryanimal a baboon?
And then I might say “if you think that’s a baboon, perhaps you are the baboon!” But probably not, because this is a positive environment and all guesses are welcome and also this is not a very common animal so guess whatever you want!
The first person to get it right wins! We’ll retweet the answer from @PopSci, and also update this post so your amazing animal knowledge will be permanently etched onto the internet. Show your kids! Your dumb kids who thought that was a baboon!
Update: Congratulations to Dylan D’Orazio, who correctly guessed that this is Cyclopes didactylus, the silky anteater, also known as the pygmy anteater. Many guessed that it’s some kind of sloth, which is a reasonable guess; anteaters are in the Pilosa order, including sloths and tamanduas (which look like snort-nosed anteaters), and the silky anteater actually has some sloth-like behavioral quirks. It’s arboreal, meaning it lives in trees, like the sloths and unlike the more famous giant anteater, for example, and uses its large, curved claws and partially prehensile tail to grasp trees and climb along, like it’s doing in this GIF.
The silky anteater lives in forests in Central and South America, with a small population on the Caribbean island of Trinidad. (As a matter of fact, the above GIF is of a Trinidadian silky anteater.) It eats between 700 and 5,000 ants per day, despite being a generally slow-moving animal. It’s also unusual; it’s the only animal in its family, though it’s not particularly rare. You can see more of this silky anteater in the BBC series Wild Caribbean. Hi silky anteater!