Friday, November 5, 2010

Tayra

We all know about Mustelids; otters, weasels, badgers. But have you heard about the Tayra? Tayras are the only species within the genus Eira and are found in tropical forests of Central and South America. They look quite weasel-life, with dark brown body hair, a lighter colored head, a body length of around 60cm, and a bushy tail. Tayras weigh up to 11lbs.
(Image Source)

Tayras (Eira barbara) are diurnal and solitary, and are both arboreal and terrestrial, often making their homes in hollow trees. Tayras are excellent swimmers and climbers. They are also omnivorous, and prefer to eat rodents, though reptiles, insects, and fruits are also consumed.

Tayras are different from some other mustelids in that they do not have delayed implantation during reproduction. After mating the females have a a 63-70 day gestation period before giving birth to 2-3 offspring. These young are weaned after 2-3 months.

Many wild Tayra populations are on the decline, due to habitat loss. The northernmost subspecies, found in Mexico, is listed as vulnerable.

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