Range: Mexico, Central America, and northern South America
Habitat: Rain forests, forests along rivers, and grasslands with trees
Length: Up to 32 inches long, including their tail feathers
Diet: Fruit, nuts, seeds, flowers, insects, and snails
- Its strong bill is used to crush its food and as an additional limb for climbing.
- Macaws eat mud from the side of cliffs to obtain minerals that will aid in neutralizing the acid in their system.
- They communicate by making loud squawks and piercing shrieks which help them make their presence known in dense rain forests.
- In Mayan tradition, the scarlet macaw represented daylight and the rising sun.
They are listed as least concern, but their numbers are declining due to loss of habitat and the exotic pet trade.
Range: Central and South America
Habitat: Tropical rainforests, tropical deciduous forests, cultivated areas
Body Length: 10 - 14 inches
Tail Length: About 16 inches
Weight: 1 - 3 pounds
Diet: Fruits, nuts, insects, spiders, young birds, and bird eggs
- They are excellent climbers and leapers and can travel long distances through the forest running along and leaping between branches.
- Their tail is not prehensile, but used for balance when traveling and feeding.
- They live in large groups, subdivided into adult male bands, mother-and-infant bands, and juveniles, except during the mating season.
- The are active during the day and rarely decend to the ground.
They suffer from habitat loss and capture for the pet trade and medical research.
Range: Coastal forests of Mexico, Central America, and parts of South America
Habitat: Lowland rain and mountain forests
Body Length: 15 - 27 inches
Tail Length: 23 - 29 inches
Body Length: 12 - 15 pounds
Diet: Mainly fruits, vegetables, flowers, leaves, and nuts
- The name "spider" refers to the monkey’s appearance when in the trees and walking on all fours.
- Its long prehensile tail is used as extra hand. The strong tail can hold on to virtually anything, giving the monkey support when suspended in the tall trees where it spends nearly all of its time.
- Its arms are longer than its legs, aiding in locomotion through the trees.
- Spider monkeys display many forms of visual communication by making faces to each other.
Island near the train station:
Bailey (b. May 3, 2006)
Female: Honey (b. June 10, 2006)
Island near the waterfall:
Gorilla (b. 1982)
Female: Zevin (b. 1998)
Zevin is Bailey's mom.
Range: Falkland Islands and Southern South America, including areas of Brazil, Bolivia and Patagonia
Habitat: Swamps, brackish lagoons, shallow lakes, freshwater marshes
Height: 40 - 55 inches
Weight: 8 - 15 pounds
Diet: Pond weeds and algae, insects, small invertebrates and fish spawn
- They spend most of their time in the water.
- They are one of the fastest fliers of the eight swan species, often reaching speeds of 50 miles per hour.
- Their bill has special jagged edge that helps them tear through tough or slippery vegetation.
- Male swans are called cobs, females are called pens, and baby swans are known as cygnets.
Stable. Habitat loss, including draining of many marsh and wetland areas, is the largest threat to this species.
Brown-nosed CoatiNasua nasua
Range: Arizona, south to Argentina
Habitat: Mainly wooded areas
Length: 13 - 27 in
Weight: 5 - 18 lbs.
Diet: Insects, fruit and other plant material, lizards, rodents, small birds and eggs
- Also known as the South American coati
- They have a long, ringed tail; the tail is used for balance when climbing
- Mainly diurnal (active during the day)
- They can descend down trees headfirst by reversing their ankles
- Males are solitary, while females live together in bands
- Females are only tolerant of males during breeding season. Once breeding season ends, females will chase the male away from the group.
- Females give birth to 3 - 5 yound after a 77 day gestation period.
Golden Lion Tamarin
Habitat: Swamp forest
Head and Body Length: 11 inches
Tail Length: 13 inches
Weight: 1 - 1.5 pounds
Diet: Fruits, insects, and small lizards
- It is named for the mane of fur around its head and its bright coloration.
- They differ from other marmosets and tamarins because they have long, narrow hands and long fingers.
- Many golden lion tamarin groups are composed of an adult pair and their young from recent litters.
- A group's territory averages about 100 acres which they actively defend through vocalizations, scent marking, territory patrols and ritualized group encounters.
Only about 1,500 golden lion tamarins remain in the wild.
Chilean FlamingoPhoenicopterus chilensis
Range: South America, from Chile to Argentina
Habitat: Tropical and warm climates; inhabit coastal mudflats, estuaries, lagoons, and salt-lakes. Live at elevations of up to 15,000 feet above sea level
Height: 31 - 57 inches
Weight: 4.2 - 6.6 lbs
Wingspan: 55 - 65 inches
Diet: Includes algae, diatoms, aquatic invertebrates such as crustaceans and mollusks
- The Chilean species is smaller and paler than most of its relatives.
- These very social birds live in flocks that can number in the thousands. The large group is their main defense against predators.
- A flamingo neck has 17 vertebrae, while humans have only seven.
- What appears to be the bird's knee is actually its ankle—the joint bends backward rather than forward.
- Flamingo fossil records date back to about 10 million years ago to the Miocene period. They are one of the oldest bird groups alive.
Humans are the main threat to Chilean flamingos - habitat loss and degradation, harvesting, and human disturbance.
Range: Galapagos Islands, off the coast of Ecuador (South America)
Habitat: Volcanic islands, from semiarid lowlands to moist uplands
Length: Males up to 6 feet from head to tail
Weight: Up to 600 pounds
Diet: Cactus and grasses
- They are the largest living tortoises in the world, and can live to be over 100 years old.
- They are slow-moving animals, moving only 0.16 miles per hour.
- Their lower jaws are covered by horny ridges with serrated edges that help them cut through tough plants.
- Their shells are made up of honeycomb structures that enclose small air chambers. This makes it possible for the tortoises to carry the weight of the shell.
These giant tortoise were nearly wiped out by sailors who killed them for food. Laws are now in place to protect this species.
Today, the greatest threats to the tortoises come from introduced nonnative species to the islands, such as rats, dogs, and cats, which eat tortoise eggs and young tortoises. Also goats and cattle compete with them for available food.
Coscoroba SwanCoscoroba coscoroba
Range: Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, southern Paraguay and southern Brazil
Habitat: Lagoons and swamps (shallow areas of fresh water with sufficient vegetation for cover)
Length: 35 – 45 in
Weight: Male 8.4 - 11.9 lbs; Female 7 - 10 lbs
Wingspan: 17 - 19 in
Diet: Plant material, aquatic insects, small fish and crustaceans
- Smallest species of swan
- Loud, trumpet-like sounds are produced by special structures in their throat.
- Coscoroba swans feed by dabbling or grazing on the surface of the water for plants and algae
- Flock size varies from a few dozen to hundred or more, depending on the season and location.
- They lay 4 - 7 eggs and incubate for 33 - 40 days
Range: Northern South America from Venezuela to Brazil
Habitat: Fresh and salt water estuaries, marshes, swamps, lakes and streams
Height: 30 inches
Wingspan: 38 inches
Diet: Crustaceans, insects, frogs, fish
- It gets its stunning pink, orange, and reddish color from the source of pigments in the algae and small crustaceans that it eats.
- Scarlet ibis flock in large numbers for protection to feed during the day and roost at night.
- The scarlet ibis lives in large colonies that can include thousands of individual birds.
- The scarlet ibis' long, thin toes enable it to step easily through the water.
While not threatened at this time, the species faces challenges from hunting, loss of foraging, nesting and feeding grounds, and heavy pollution.
Range: Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina
Habitat: Marshes, wet savannas, swamps, open lowlands and forest lagoons
Body Length: 2 - 3 feet
Wingspan: Around 5.5 feet
Weight: 4 - 11 pounds
Diet: Leaves, flowers, seeds, and roots of aquatic plants
- They are non-migratory birds.
- The can swim well, but prefer to move on the ground.
- They have sharp spurs on their wings, which are used for defense.
- Their hollow bones help them walk over muddy, marshy ground without sinking.
- Because of their extremely loud, trumpeting call (which can be heard up to 2 miles away), farmers will raise them with domestic chickens to help warn of potential predators.
Range: Northeast Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Paraguay
Habitat: Rainforests and jungles
Height: 12 - 14 inches
Diet: Leaves, flowers, insects, fruits, seeds
- Uses their beaks to climb, crack open nuts and seeds, pick foliage, flowers, and fruits to eat.
- They are very gregarious and often travel in large flocks.
- They spend more time climbing up trees than flying through them.
- Amazons have no vocal cords, but whistle their words with exceptional clarity. They can also learn to sing.
Currently not threatened, but declining in the wild due to destruction of their habitat and capture for the pet trade.
Range: Central and South America
Habitat: Subtropical rain forests, open woodlands and river edges
Length: 15 inches (includes tail)
- This macaw features a distinct yellow collar around the back of the neck.
- They nest in tree cavities and lay a clutch of two to four white eggs.
Range: Mexico, Central, and South America
Habitat: Open woodlands, forests, and tropical zones
Height: 14 - 16 inches
Weight: 1 - 1.5 pounds
Diet: Seeds, nuts, fruits, berries, blossoms, and leaf buds
- They are very vocal, and can learn to mimic sounds.
- they are arboreal (tree-dwelling).
- When excited, all feathers of the neck and crown are raised, making the head appear double in size.
- They are social, living in groups of up to several hundred individuals.
They suffer from habitat loss and hunting (persecuted for damaging crops and captured for the illegal pet trade).
Habitat: Lush areas in arid lowlands and foothills, especially gallery forest, deciduous woodland and dry, open pine-oak woodland
Body Length: 13 inches
Weight: 10 ounces
Diet: Pine seeds, maize, berries, beans, flowers and acorns
- They are stocky birds with green cheeks, a red crown and a pale beak.
- They gather in large flocks and are noisiest in the morning and evening.
- Usually 3-4 eggs are laid and incubation lasts around 28 days, with a nesting period of 9 weeks.
It is massively exploited for the pet trade and much of its habitat has been cleared for agricultural land.
Linne's Two-toed SlothCholoepus didactylus
Range: Areas east of the Andes in Columbia, Venezuela, the Guianas, Ecuador, Peru and northern Brazil
Habitat: Tropical forest tree canopies
Length: 24 - 30 inches
Weight: 12 - 20 lbs
Diet: Leaves, shoots, fruits
- Has two long claws on the front feet, and three on the hind feet
- Sloths are arboreal (tree-dwellers). They spend almost their entire lives hanging upside down in trees. They eat, sleep, mate, and even give birth in an upside down position.
- They may sleep as many as 20 hours a day.
- They are hard to spot high in the tree canopies. Their specialized hair encourages algae growth, which aids in camouflaging them.
- They are physically unable to walk. They have to crawl from one spot to the other when they decend to the ground.
- Because of their slow metabolism, it is necessary for sloths to defecate and urinate only once a week.
There are currently no major threats to these sloths. They are not commonly hunted because they are usually found high in the canopy, motionless and virtually invisible.
Range: Mexico, Central and South America
Habitat: Rainforests, swamps, grasslands, scrublands, and lowland semi-deciduous forests. They require water nearby.
Body Length: 4 feet
Weight: 100 - 250 pounds
Diet: Includes peccaries, tapirs, monkeys, capybaras, crocodiles, and fish
- Some jaguars are "tawny" with yellowish to brown fur and a visible pattern of rosette markings across its body. Others are melanistic or black.
- Jaguars have spots called rosettes.
- The jaguar is the largest cat found in the Americas.
- Jaguars are solitary animals, only coming together to mate.
- It is the only big cat which regularly kills prey (especially capybaras) by piercing the skull with their canines.
- When a jaguar catches a large prey it is either buried or hidden in a sheltered area, so the jaguar can return to eat when it is hungry later.
- These heavy-built cats have sharp, retractable claws that are important in seizing and holding a prey animal.
- Powered by their strong legs, jaguars are also capable climbers and swimmers.
Since 1900, jaguars have disappeared from over 50% of their range due to persecution by livestock ranchers, degradation of habitat, and human hunting of the jaguar's prey.
In many countries, jaguars are protected, but enforcement is difficult and jaguar skins are still sold on the black market.
Range: Brazil, Guyana, French Guiana, ans Suriname in South America
Habitat: Tropical forests, edges, and swamps; open high canpoy preferred
Body Length: 8 - 11 inches
Weight: 15 - 20 ounces
Diet: Fruit, seeds, insects, small vertebrates, and birds' eggs
- Typically live in groups of 4 - 15 individuals.
- Only one female in the group reproduces, with two offspring that are cared for by the father and other group members. The young are given to the mother only for nursing.
- Tamarins vocalize in a very high pitched squeaky call as well as chirps and clicks.
- They are also called red-handed tamarin, Midas tamarin or yellow-handed tamarin.
Range: NE South America including French Guiana, Venezuela, Guyana,
Suriname and NE Brazil.
Habitat: Open forest, savanna and palm groves.
Length: 12 inches from head to tip of tail
Diet: Seeds, flowers, buds, and fruits
- Large flocks of a twenty or more may be found congregating in the trees bearing ripened fruit.
- These birds use cavities in trees as nesting sites.
- Their loud, screeching calls are similar to the much larger macaws.
- Sun conures are very family oriented, and will often assist other parents with raising their young.
Due to high demand in the pet trade this once common species has declined dramatically during the last twenty years.
Range: Central and South America
Habitat: Dense vegetation surrounding lakes, rivers, swamps, marshes, and ponds
Height: 2 feet tall at shoulder
Weight: 80 - 150 pounds
Diet: Mainly grasses and aquatic plants
- The capybara is the world's largest rodent.
- The capybara's eyes, nostrils and ears are located near the top of the head, an adaptation for their semi-aquatic life.
- They are excellent divers and swimmers with partially webbed toes.
- It can stay underwater for up to five minutes without taking a breath and can sleep underwater with its nose poking out above the waterline.
- Like all rodents, a capybara's two front teeth continuously grow throughout its life.
Capybara populations are considered stable through much of their range, but hunting in some areas has reduced their numbers.
Range: South America
Length: 16 - 25 inches long
Weight: 2 - 9 pounds
Diet: Fallen fruits, nuts, and vegetation
- When food is plentiful they bury excess nuts and fruits for use when food is scarce. This behavior makes them important seed dispersers for many tree species.
- Agoutis sit on their hind legs to eat, holding the food in their fore feet.
- They can can jump up more than six feet from a standing position and can swim well.
Patagonian CavyDolichotis patagonum
Range: Central and southern Argentina
Habitat: Arid grasslands and brushlands
Length: Up to 3 feet
Height: Up to 2 feet
Weight: Up to 25 lbs
Diet: Grasses and herbs
- Also known as Patagonian hare
- While most time is spent in pairs, large groups will form when grasses and herbs are plentiful.
- Patagonian cavies may walk or hop like hares or gallop like horses.
- Vocalize with grunts, grumbles, and screams.
- Unlike most mammals, cavies are monogomous.
- As many as 15 cavy pairs will raise their offspring in one communal dens (called creches). Females use scent to locate their young.
Although it is widespread, its populations are declining due to loss of habitat, competition with large introduced herbivores and hunting, probably at a rate close to 30% over ten years.
Range: South America
Habitat:Wooded, grassy habitats and jungles
Length: Up to 6.5 feet
Weight: 330 - 550 pounds
Diet: Grasses, leaves, buds, soft twigs, fruits of low growing shrubs, aquatic vegetation and shoots
- The tapir is a close relative of horses and rhinos.
- tapirs are the largest terrestrial mammal native to the Amazonian region of South America.
- The tapir's head extends into a short, fleshy trunk, which is actually a prolonged nose and upper lip that is combined into a flexible snout like an elephant's trunk.
- Its trunk-like nose is a sensitive 'finger' used to pull leaves and shoots towards its mouth.
- Its small, deep-set eyes are protected from brush and thorns common in the its habitat.
- Tapirs play an important role to play in their ecosystem as major seed disperser.
- Tapirs help their ecosystem by smashing down small trees and breaking branches to make trails, which aid other creatures in moving through the forest, too.
- Tapirs are at home in the water. They are able swimmers and will take freely to water when pressed by predators like jaguars and crocodilians.
Female: P.J. (b. May 19, 1994)
J.J. and P.J. love the water and spend most of their time in their pool. The pair has had three babies together.
They will be located next to the lowland anoa for the duration of construction in the South American area. When completed, the two will have a new exhibit in the Land of the Jaguar exhibit.
The main threats to the species include loss of habitat through deforestation, hunting for meat and competition with domestic livestock.
Ocellated TurkeyMeleagris ocellata
Range: Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, Belize, & Guatemala
Habitat: Tropical deciduous and lowland evergreen forests
Size: 3 - 4 ft
Female Weight: 6 - 8 lbs.
Male Weight: 11 - 12 lbs.
Diet: Insects, seeds and fruit
- There are only two species of turkey in the world; the North American wild turkey and the ocellated turkey.
- Males are called toms, females are called hens
- The bird has powerful wings, but only maintains flight for short distances.
- Males older than a year have spurs on the backs of their legs which average at 1.5 - 2 inches.
- It forages on the ground during the day and roosts in trees at night.
- These turkey prefer open spaces and avoid the deep jungle.
This species is heavily hunted for food and trade. It also faces threats from habitat loss due to clear-cutting and conversion to farmland.
Range: Mexico to northern Argentina; remnant population in southwest U.S.
Habitat: Forest, savanna, wetlands and scrubland
Body Length: 26 - 40 in
Tail Length: 12 - 18 in
Weight: 24 - 35 lbs
Diet: Rodents, rabbits, young deer, birds, snakes and fish
- Ocelots are ambush hunters and very active at night. They rest in trees or dense brush during the day.
- Ocelots mark their territory with urine and scent markings.
- Ocelots get their name from the Aztec word tlalocelot, which means "field tiger."
Ocelots face threats from habitat loss and fragmentation and the fur and pet trades.
In the U.S., ocelots once ranged from Arizona to Louisiana. Now, less than 100 ocelots are estimated to remain in Texas. Ocelots are considered endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Giant Anteater Myrmecophaga tridactyla
Range: Southern Belize to northern Argentina
Habitat: Grassland savannas, swamps, humid forests, and woodlands
Length: 5 - 7 ft (nose to tail)
Weight: 40 - 100 lbs
Diet: Mainly ants, termites, and their eggs; will also eat ripe fruit
- They have poor vision, but an excellent sense of smell, which is 40 times more powerful than humans.
- Its tongue can protrude more than 2 feet to capture its prey of as many as 30,000 insects in a single day.
- They use their sharp claws to tear an opening in anthill or termite mound. They do not destroy the mound so they can return and feed again later.
- Giant anteaters are generally solitary.
- Females give birth to one offspring. The young will ride on its mother's back for up to a year.
Giant anteaters are disappearing due to the exotic pet trade, habitat destruction, and hunting for food and as pests.
Range: Southern Florida, southern Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and northern South America
Habitat: Fresh or brackish water of river estuaries, coastal lagoons, and mangrove swamps
Male Avg. Size: 13 ft, 840 lbs
Female Avg. Size: 10 ft, 380 lbs
Diet: Primarily fish; also crustaceans, turtles, birds and mammals
- Crocodiles are ectothermic (they rely on the environment to maintain a proper body temperature)
- Crocodiles can close the back of their throat which allows them to swallow food under water without drowning.
- Crocodiles have brains and hearts that are more advanced than any other living reptile.
- Females lay 20 - 60 eggs.
- The sex of the embryos s determines by the incubation temperature (males: 88 - 91 degrees F; females: lower than 88 degrees F). The temperature must remain over 82 degrees for the eggs to survive and hatch.
American crocodiles face threats from habitat loss and hunting.
Range: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay
Habitat: Mangroves, marshes and swamps
Length: Averages 6.5 ft; Can reach up to 10 ft
Diet: Insects and crustaceans when small; water snails, fish, mammals, and birds as it grows
- Also known as the broad-nosed caiman
- Has an extremely short snout; the snout is nearly as wide at the eyes as it is long
- Adults are pale olive green; older animals are nearly black. Juveniles are brownish olive, with dark stripes on the back and dark blotches on the head and sides of the lower jaw
- It is a mound-nesting species; eggs are laid in two layers, separated by vegetation.
- Incubation is 63 - 70 days; Clutch size is 20 - 50 eggs
Habitat destruction is currently the greatest threat to this species. It was exploited for its hide, which yields a high-grade leather, especially in the middle 20th century.
Range: Tropical South America
Habitat: Rivers, streams, lakes, swamps, and marshes
Length: Averages 10 - 15 feet
Weight: Averages 110 - 165 pounds
Diet: Will eat almost anything they can manage to overpower, including fish, birds, mammals and reptiles.
- The green anaconda is the largest snake in the Western Hemisphere.
- The green anaconda spends most of its time in the water. Eyes and nostrils on the top of its head enable it to see and breath while partially submerged.
- Green anacondas are ambush predators, typically hunting from the water.
- Green anacondas hold the record as the heaviest snakes in the world, with some reaching 500 pounds or more.
- They give birth to live young.
Brazilian Rainbow BoaEpicrates cenchria
Range: Amazon Basin; coastal Guiana, French Guyana, Suriname, and southern Venezuela
Habitat: Humid woodland forests; sometimes found in open savannas
Length: 4 - 6 feet
Diet: Birds (and their eggs), small mammals, lizards, and frogs
- Nocturnal (active at night) and terrestrial (ground-dwelling)
- Use heat sensing pits on its jaw to locate prey
- They are excellent swimmers but avoid hunting in the water.
- They are named because of the iridescent sheen on their scales. This acts like prisms to refract light into rainbows.
- 2 - 35 young are usually 15 - 20 inches and are born live.
Considered common in much of their range. They face threats from habitat destruction and human encroachment.
Emerald Tree BoaCorallus caninus
Range: Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Guyana, French Guiana, Suriname, and Brazil
Habitat: Wet lowland rainforests
Length: Averages 4 - 6 feet; can reach up to 10 feet
Diet: Mainly rodents; also lizards, monkeys and bats
- Strictly arboreal (tree dwelling); live in the forest canopy and understory
- Has a prehensile tail
- Special heat receptors allow the snake to see the thermo-environment around them
- Has front teeth that are proportionately larger than those of any other non-venomous snake
Population is stable, but faces threats from habitat loss.
Bush DogSpeothos venaticus
Range: Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, and Brazil
Habitat: Neotropical forests and wet savannahs, usually near water
Height: 10 – 12 in
Weight: 11 – 17 lbs
Diet: Small vertebrates, sometimes fruit
- Bush dogs have partially webbed feet, which aids in swimming.
- Bush dogs are social and live in small family packs.
- They use vocalizations and scent marking to communicate.
- Females give birth to 1 - 6 young after a 67 day gestation period.
Bush dogs are threatened by habitat loss, human encroachment, reduction of available prey, and diseases contracted from domestic dogs.
Range: Southern Mexico to Argentina
Habitat: Tropical forests
Length: 2.9 to 3.8 feet
Weight: 9 - 13 pounds
Diet: Birds, small mammals, and fruits
- The tayra is a member of the weasel family, which also includes otters, skunks, and minks.
- On the ground, they run and bounce with the back arched and the tail along the ground.
- In the trees, they climb and move swiftly, using the tail for balance.
- The tayra is a solitary animal, diurnal with activity peaks at dawn and dusk.
Black Howler MonkeyAlouatta caraya
Range: Eastern Bolivia, southern Brazil and Paraguay, and northern Argentina
Habitat: Prefer tall, aged forests; occupy the middle and upper canopies of the trees
Body Length: 15 - 28 in
Tail Length:20 - 30 in
Weight: 12 - 20 lbs
Diet: Canopy leaves, fruits such as figs and plums, buds, flowers and sometimes nuts
- Males and females are sexually dimorphic; adult males are black, adult females and juveniles are a golden tan color
- Howler monkeys produce the loudest call of any primate. They can be heard up to 3 miles away.
- They are arboreal (tree dwelling), diurnal (active during the day), and have a prehensile tail.
- Females give birth to one or two young.
Faces threats from habitat loss due to agricultural development.
Range: Central and southeastern Brazil, Paraguay, eastern Bolivia, and northern Argentina
Habitat: Open forest, savanna, and marshland
Height: About 3 feet at shoulder
Weight: About 50 pounds
Diet: Small mammals, insects, reptiles, birds, bird eggs, fruits, and vegetation
- Maned wolves resemble a red fox on stilts, although they are not related to foxes or members of the wolf family.
- Their long legs enable them to see above the tall grass, which helps them hunt for food and avoid predators.
- The maned wolf’s urine has a strong distinctive smell similar to skunk spray. Like many animals, the maned wolf uses urine to mark the boundaries of its territory. Zoo visitors often smell the strong odor before they can see the maned wolf.
Habitat destruction is the main threat to maned wolves.
Range: Southern Mexico to northern Argentina
Habitat: Tropical forests
Length: 2.5 feet
Wingspan: 5 - 6 feet
Weight: 6 to 10 pounds
Diet: Carrion (dead or decaying animal matter)
- They lack a syrinx, which means they can only make simple hisses and grunts.
- It relies heavily on its keen eyesight to find food beacuse of its poor sense of smell.
- Its beak is specially adapted for ripping through tough-skinned carcasses.
- They feed on rotting carcasses which could potentially spread disease.
Range: Andes Mountains in South America
Habitat: Open grasslands, lowland deserts, and coastal areas
Height: 3.2 to 4.2 feet
Male Weight: 24 - 33 pounds
Female Weight: 17 - 24 pounds
Wingspan: Up to 10 feet
Diet: Carrion (dead animals)
- The male has a very distinctive comb on the crown of his head and has yellow eyes.
- Females have bright red eyes.
- Andean condors lack of feathers on its head, allowing them to radiate heat away from the body which keeps the birds from overheating.
- To conserve energy on these long flights, condors make good use of rising hot air currents called "thermals" to keep them aloft and reduce the need to flap their wings.
- Andean condors soar to heights of 18,000 feet, or almost 3.4 miles.
Andean (Spectacled) Bear
Range: Western Venezuela south to Bolivia
Habitat: In the Andes and outlying mountain ranges; forests, grasslands, and scrublands
Size: 5.5 - 6.5 feet
Male Weight: 220 - 386 lbs
Female Weight: 132 - 176 lbs
Diet: Fruits & bromeliads; berries, grasses, bulbs, cactus flowers, insects, and small animals such as rodents, rabbits, and birds
- Only species of bear found in South America.
- They are true arboreal bears, using their long, sharp front claws to climb and forage for food. Also a good swimmer.
- Thought to use vocal communication more than any other bear except the giant panda.
- Its markings on its head, throat, and chest is unique to each individual, like a human's fingerprint.
- One to three cubs are born from November to February.
These bears face threats due to habitat loss and fragmentation as a result of conversion to farmland, mining, and deforestation for lumber.
They are killed by humans who believe they are a threat to crops and livestock.
Wild populations are unknown.
Blue and Gold Macaw
Range: Mexico, Central America and northern South America
Length: Up to 3 feet from head to tip of tail
Wingspan: 41 - 45 inches
Weight: 2 - 2.5 pounds
Diet: Fruits, vegetable matter, seeds, nuts, leaves and bark. They also eat clay on exposed riverbank clay licks as a mineral supplement.
- Macaws are able to reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour.
- Their beak can bite down with 300 pounds of pressure. They are one of only three rainforest animals that can crack open Brazil nuts.
- When disturbed, these bright birds screech loudly and circle overhead with their long tails streaming.
- Macaws are able to mimic human vocalizations.
Range: Mexico and South America
Habitat: Arid woodlands, forested areas, and tropical rainforests
Length: 27 - 29 inches (tip of the beak to the end of the tail)
Diet: Seeds, figs and other fruits, nuts, berries and other vegetable material
- Their beak is used to open fruit and nuts and to help them climb.
- They use their feet to hold their food while they crack it open with their beak.
- Macaws are social animals and live in flocks of 20 to 40 birds.
- In capitivity they can live to be 70 - 80 years old.
Threated dut to due to deforestation and capture for the pet trade.
White-faced Whistling Duck
Range: Costa Rica southwards to
northern Argentina and Uruguay. Also found in Africa.
Habitat: Prefers freshwater in open areas
Length: 17 - 19 inches
Weigh: 1 - 2 pounds
Diet: Vegetation (such as grass, seeds and rice) and aquatic invertebrates
- The name white-faced whistling duck comes from the bird's white face and it's characteristic three-note whistle.
- White-faced whistling ducks are social birds that gather in large flocks, sometimes of over 1000 members.
- They are sometimes called white-faced tree-ducks because they occasionally perching in trees.
- Female lays 4 - 13 eggs and incubates them for 26 - 28 days. Chicks fledge in about eight weeks.
Range: Colombia (South America)
Body Length: Up to 8 inches
Tail Length: 10 - 11 inches
Weight: 0.5 - 2 pounds
Diet: Insects, small vertebrates, fruit, and other plant material
- Theyare found only in the rainforests of northwestern Colombia.
- They live in family groups of 6 to 10 individual to help defend themselves against predators.
- When they see a predator, the tamarins let out an alarm call warning others of the danger.
- Cotton-top tamarin mothers usually give birth to non-identical twins, and fathers play a big role by helping carry the new arrivals through the forest.
The cotton-headed tamarin population is decreasing due to habitat loss and the illegal pet trade.
Range: Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela
Habitat: Humid forests, savannas, woodlands
Height: 13.6 in
Weight: 6.6 - 9.7 oz
Diet: Includes fruit, seeds, buds, nectar, and pollen; occasionally feeds on insects or other meat
- Also known as the Red-fan Parrot
- When angry or alarmed, it raises these feathers, framing the face like a headdress.
- In the wild, hawk-heads travel in pairs or small groups and roost alone in trees.
- The parrot is often seen swaying from side to side and emitting a whining sound.
- Hawk-headed parrots mate for life. The male hawk-head cares for the female while she incubates the eggs. Clutch 1 - 3 eggs. Incubation 26 days.
Because they are more solitary, they are harder for the pet trade to capture.