GET TO KNOW A LITTLE MORE ABOUT PANTANAL
- PANTANAL ANIMALS
The Pantanal fauna is one of the richest in our planet with endemic species (wich only grow here) and many others that are in risk of extintion. Acording to the Enviroment Ministry, the Pantanal bioma holds 86,77% of its natural vegetation cover. It keeps a large quantity of animal species, and up to now, the following have been catalogued: 263 fish species, 41 amphibious species, 113 reptile species, 463 bird species, 1.032 butterfly species and 132 mammal species, among wich two are endemical. Now get to know a little more about the most known animals of Mato Grosso's Pantanal.
Spotted jaguar (Panthera onca)
Also known as jaguar, it is America's largest feline and the only nowadays representative of the Panthera genre in the continent. It can measure up to 2 meters and 41 centimeters and weigh more than 158 kilos. It's light-yellow color covered by black spots helps its camouflage amongst the vegetation. It has nocturnal habits, and feeds itself form other pantanal animals such as deers, forest pigs, alligators, herons, capybaras and many others. It has great muscle strength and a very powerful bite. The most knows caracterist of the species is that, unlike other feline that meows, it emits a series of powerful snores wich are called esturro. The live alone but during the mating season there is interaction among male and female.
Capybaras live in family groups wich can get up to 20 individuals or more. Usually, the group is composed by one dominating male, many adult female with their baby capybaras and subordinated males. Male have a large sebaceous gland on the top of their head, wich they use to mark their dominance by smell. They are found near water, in forests along rivers and in lakes. Capybaras feed of grass and also aquatic vegetation. When in danger, capybaras dive underwater and swim under the surface until they escape. They are excellent swimmers and can stay underwater for several minutes.
TUIUIÚ (Jabiru mycteria)
From the storks family, it is also known as jaburu. It is considered as the bird symbol of the Pantanal where it is the largest bird specie. Its hight can get up to 1,60 meters, and its weight can reach up to 8 kilos - wingspan gets close to 3 meters (measure from one tip of the wing to another). It feeds basically from fish, mollusc, reptile and bugs. The tuiuiu nests are the largest structures build by birds in Pantanal, located on the top of the highest trees. There are notes of nests more than 3 meters wide, wich get só solid that are capable of sustaining an adult person on it.
Sucuri, also known as anaconda, is the largest serpent in the world and can live up to 30 years. There are records of indivuals tha measured up to 10 meters wide and weighted 450 kilos. It feeds from capybaras, fish, birds, feline and even alligators. It doesn't have any poisonous glands and kill by constriction – embracing the victim's body and crushing it with its poweful muscles. It can remain without feeding itself for months, during the time needed to digest the swallowed pray. It has aquatical habits, living in humid areas as riversides and lakes, meadows and creeks. Sucuri is an egg-laying serpent, wich means that its their babies eclode from their eggs while inside their moms and are born ready to explore the enviroment in search of food. Its litter is usually big – from 10 up to 70 sucuri babies in each pregnancy, wich can length from 225 up to 270 days.
JACARÉ (Caiman yacare)
Also known as the Paraguaian jacaré, the jacaré from pantanal, popular name in Brazil, gets its name from its natural habitat, the Mato Grosso's Pantanal, although it also lives in regions in Bolivia and Argentina close to brazilian borders. Measuring from 2 up to almost 3 meters, this animal shows its greatness and respect for the other nearby inhabitants, since its carnivore habits makes it predator of many other smaller animals. Its extremely sharpened teeth are shown in evidence, even when jacaré's mouth is shut – this is why it got the nickname “jacaré piranha” - for its teeth and jaw amount and size. The number of female hatched eggs can vary from 20 up to 30 acording to the mother's size, but many babies die even before the final phase of encubation, wich may vary from 70 up to 80 days approximately.
ARIRANHA ( Pteronura brasiliensis)
Ariranha, also known as “lontra gigante” (“gigantic otter”), is a typical brazilian fauna's mammal, although it can also be found in other South American countries. In Brazil, we can find these animals in large quantity in the Mato Grosso's Pantanal region and also in the Amazon River Bay. The Ariranhas live in large groups. An ariranha lives 20 years in average. A male's weight can vary from 30 up to 45 kilos – and the female's, from 20 up to 25 kilos. Adult male's height may vary from 1,5 up to 1,8 meters, and female's, from 1,4 up to 1,7 meters. Ariranhas live in creek and river areas. Their lairs are usually caved – they live in holes – on rivers and creeks ravines. It is also very common for ariranhas to build their lairs under large trees' roots. They feed of fish, eggs, birds, small-sized aquatical mammals, crabs and reptiles. Its pregnancy period lasts 70 days. 2 up to 5 babies are born.
ARARA-AZUL (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus)
Araras-azuis (“blue parrots”) are animals that stand up for their beauty, size and behaviour. It is the largest specie among the psittaciform (sparrows, parrots, parakeets and araras), and can measure up to a meter from the tip of its beak to the tip of its tail and can weight up to 1,3 kilos. Their habits really draws attention. They usuallu fly in pairs or in groups and during the afternoons they gather in bands in “dormitory” trees. Among their food sources are chestnuts taken from two species of coconut palmtrees: acuri and bocaiúva. When it ages 7 years, araras-azuis begin to raise their own families. The couples are loyal and split the chore of taking care of babies. The incubation period usually lasts 28 days. Only when they are 3 months old, when their bodies are covered with feathers, they try their first flights. In average, a female has two babies, but usually only one survives. This species is in the list of endangered species due to hunting, blackmarket sales and degradation of its habitat due to deforestation.
BICHO-PREGUIÇA (Bradypus variegatus)
The preguiça-comum (“common sloth”) is a sloth specie that is widely spread in South and Central America. It's a mammal that lives up to 40 years, has gray fur, and the males have a black spot with yellow bounds in the dorsal region. They usually measure round 50 centimeters, but can grow up to a meter. They feed of embaúba's, figueira's and ingazeira's leaves – and also ingazeira's fruits. In some places, the preguiça-comum is alson known as preguiça-bentinho and doesn't face the risk of extintion because it can breed in captivity, unlike the preguiça-real (“royal sloth”). It has three fingers in each paw, united fingers and only noticiable for their long-lengthed nails, a feature of this specie. They don't have incisive teeth, being therefore known as endedata. They have only the molars. In captivity, they sleep up to 14 hours a day, but in its natural environment they sleep 8 hours in average. They are not só slow as people think, and are good swimmers. They can remain 20 minutes without breathing, wich is useful if they fall in water. The Preguiça-comum make their physiological necessities every 7 days. Its natural predator is human, but can be prayed by snakes and jaguars.