The endangered South American Tapir is harder to view in the wild than a jaguar. We saw this Taper by going to a water
hole at dusk and standing there for a couple hours until just before total dark. Only the fact that we used a tripod made it
possible for us to get this picture. We went back the next afternoon and saw this taper return again at twilight as well as
another taper after dark.
A tapir is a large browsing mammal, similar in shape to a pig, with a short, prehensile snout. Tapirs inhabit jungle and forest
regions. Most tapirs are about 7 feet long, stand about 3 feet high at the shoulder, and weigh between 330 to 700 pounds.
Tapirs with access to rivers spend a good deal of time in and under the water, feeding on soft vegetation, taking refuge from
predators, and cooling off during hot periods. Tapirs near a water source will swim, sink to the bottom and walk along the
riverbed to feed, and have been known to submerge themselves under water to allow small fish to pick parasites off their bulky
bodies. Tapirs are largely nocturnal. Adult tapirs are large enough that they have few natural predators, and the thick skin on
the backs of their necks helps to protect them from threats such as jaguars. Tapers are also able to run fairly quickly,
considering their size and cumbersome appearance,
Approximately 10 million individual Yacare Caiman exist within the Brazilian Pantanal, representing what is quite possibly the
largest single crocodilian population on Earth. As a medium-small sized crocodilian, most adult individuals grow to roughly 2 or
2.5 meters in length with the occasional 3 meter individual. Their smaller size makes them a favorite prey of the jaguar and
Yellow Anaconda. This species diet consists primarily of fish (especially piranha) and birds, with the occasional capybara being
taken by larger adults.
The Caiman mostly eat fish. It seems that when they catch a fish, they need to raise their heads out of the water to eat. It is
also funny to hear them make a barking sound when expressing their territorial needs.
We had one encounter with a yellow anaconda. A farmer had caught this snake, and wanted a "tip" for us to see and
photograph the Anaconda. Akos agreed provided that we could release the Anaconda when we were through. Since I knew
that a yellow anaconda is not venomous, I had no problem getting close to take its picture.
The black howler monkeys lived in the tops of trees, so we could
not get close to them. Ironically, it is only the mature male that is black.
The female and young are brown.
Walking through the forest one evening, I found this monkey which is not a black howler eating close to the floor of the forest.
The Azara's Agouti is a Brazilian guinea pig which we saw momentarily.
The crab-eating fox was quite shy and mostly visible in the early evening.
The marsh deer was also quite shy.
|The Pantanal 2011
Tapir, Caiman, Anaconda, Monkeys, Agouiti, Fox, and Deer