Mammals of Belize. What is a mammal? - Fur (pelage) Mammary glands 3 inner ear ossicles (bones). Do you think the mammals in Belize will be the same as the mammals in WV/V? Why?/Why not? No cold season, but dry season Fruit everywhere
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Most of the vegetation (food/cover) is in the canopy so that is where you will find most of the mammals
Virginia Opossum Belize what characteristics would they likely exhibit?
Local Name: Possum
Semi-arboreal Omnivores – eat pretty much anything that they can get in their mouths
Gray Fox – Belize what characteristics would they likely exhibit?Urocyon cinereoargenteus
“tree fox” is distributed from Canada to Venezuela
Mostly nocturnal and crepuscular
Raccoon Belize what characteristics would they likely exhibit?Procyon lotor
The tail is bushy with alternating dark and light bands, a characteristic which distinguishes the raccoon from all other mammals
When you think about a rainforest (jungle) what animals come to mind?......
CITES endangered species
Important seed dispersal agents
Yucatan Black Howler-Monkey A to mind?......louatta pigra
Troops of 4-10 – lowland evergreen forests
Known as the “baboon” in Belize
Noisiest animal in the Belize jungle
Central-American to mind?......
Spider Monkey Ateles geoffroyi
Occupy small branches of the high strata
Troops of up to 100
Need undisturbed tracks of forest
Bats: order Chiroptera to mind?......
Bats are either carnivorous (insects) or fruit/nectar eaters
Lesser White-lined Bat to mind?......
Often found roosting in or near human habitations
Fishing Bat to mind?......
Adapted for catching fish
Local Name: Greater Bulldog Bat
Jamaican Fruit-eating Bat to mind?......
Brown Long-tongued Bat to mind?......
Local Name: Commissaris’ Long-tongued Bat
Order Carnivora: to mind?......
All species of wild felid are listed as at least species of concern by CITES
Jaguaroundi - to mind?......Herpailurus yagouaroundi
Sometimes known as an otter cat – Semi- aquatic environments – diurnal and more common in disturbed areas
Ocelot - to mind?......Leopardus pardalis
found in forested areas but is at risk from hunting for its fur and trapping for the pet trade.
Margay – to mind?......Leopardus weidii
Long Tailed Spotted Cat, similar to the Ocelot - body smaller has longer legs and tail
Semi-arboreal, has specially adapted rear claws and ankle joints which can move through 180 degrees
Puma - to mind?......Felis concolor
Most widely distributed felid in western hemisphere.
Diet varies from small mammals to deer and tapir
Jaguar – to mind?......Panthera onca
Largest terrestrial predator in Central/South America.
Often confused w/ Leopard
Jaguar has no natural predators
Weasel family to mind?......
Tayra - to mind?......Eira barbara
Long, slender body has short limbs and a long tail
Diet – fruit, insects, small mammals
Grison – to mind?......Galictis vittata
Burrowing and terrestrial
Feeds on small mammals, reptiles, invertebrates
Family Prcyonidae to mind?......
Raccoons and related critters
Kinkajou – to mind?......Potos flavus
“night walker” in Belize
One of the most commonly seen tropical forest animals
Arboreal and nocturnal
Primarily eats fruit
Ringtail – to mind?......Bassariscus sumichrasti
Also known as the Ringtail Cat, Cacomistle, or Miner's Cat
Nocturnal and shy - rarely seen
Smaller than a house cat
Coati – to mind?......Nasua narica
Also known as the White-nosed Coati
Locally in Belize, the coati is known as "quash"
Often is seen in large groups of up to 30 individuals
Order artiodactyla to mind?......
Even-toed ungulates – Deer, cows, antelope, etc.
Red Brocket – to mind?......Mazama americana
Active during both the day and the night and are usually solitary
Found in thick forest where there is dense undergrowth
White-tailed Deer- to mind?......Odecoileus virginianus
Collared Peccary to mind?......Tayassu tajacu
A piglike animal (although they are not pigs) resembling a razorback hog, but with heavier neck and shoulders
Feed on fruits, seeds, roots, vegetable matter, invertebrates
Order Perissodactyla to mind?......
rhinos, equids, tapirs
Baird’s Tapir – Tapirus bairdii to mind?......
Status: Endangered – heavily hunted
Avoid human disturbance
Good hill climbers, runners, sliders, waders, divers, swimmers
Order Rodentia to mind?......
Most diverse order of mammals
Primary consumers in most ecosystems
Seldom seen considering their prevalence….why?
Forest Spiny Pocket Mouse – to mind?......Heteromys desmerastanius
Often seen foraging on the ground at night in wet forests
Can also be found in areas of secondary growth or seasonally dry forest
Vesper Rat to mind?......Nictomys sumichrasti
The eyes are large, and the hind feet are modified for nocturnal arboreal life
Hispid Cotton Rat to mind?......Sigmodon hispidus
Preferred habitat consists of grassy fields, brushy pastures, ditches, marshes, and along the brushy borders of cultivated fields
Mexican Porcupine – to mind?......Coendou mexicanus
Large, furry rodent with characteristic yellowish spines or quills covering its back and tail
Different genus than our porcupine, prehensile tail
Paca - to mind?......Agouti paca
forested habitats near water
Upper body is dark brown or black and usually has 4 longitudinal rows of white spots on the sides
Solitary and little interaction occurs between individuals
male sprays female with urine, which causes her to go into a "frenzy dance." After several sprays she allows the male to approach
Eat seeds and will cache (bury) seeds in times of excess seed dispersal
Central American Agouti – Dasyprocta punctata
Order Didelphimorphia "frenzy dance." After several sprays she allows the male to approach
New world opposums
Marsupials – non placental mammals with a pouch - marsupium
Water Opossum "frenzy dance." After several sprays she allows the male to approach
Local Name: Water Dog, Yapo
Order Xenarthra "frenzy dance." After several sprays she allows the male to approach
Anteaters, sloths, armadillos
Northern Tamandua "frenzy dance." After several sprays she allows the male to approach
Local Name: Antsbear
Northern, Naked-tailed Armadillo "frenzy dance." After several sprays she allows the male to approach
Local Name: Dilly
Order Cetacea "frenzy dance." After several sprays she allows the male to approach
Marine mammals – whales and dolphins
Short-finned Pilot Whale "frenzy dance." After several sprays she allows the male to approach
Dark gray to black
Can be seen resting at the surface during the day
Spinner Dolphin "frenzy dance." After several sprays she allows the male to approach
The Spinner Dolphin is a slender creature with a long, thin beak to which the distinct forehead slopes gently
Dramatically acrobatic, with somersaults, high spinning leaps and other aerial movements
Bottlenose Dolphin "frenzy dance." After several sprays she allows the male to approach
Gray to gray-green or gray-brown on the back, fading to white on the belly, lower jaw, and anal regions. The belly may be pinkish.
This coloration, a type of camouflage known as countershading, may help conceal a dolphin from predators and prey
Great Sperm Whale "frenzy dance." After several sprays she allows the male to approach
The biggest of all toothed whales
Name is derived from a structure in their head known as the spermaceti organ
The End "frenzy dance." After several sprays she allows the male to approach