Mammals of Belize
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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

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Virginia Opossum Belize what characteristics would they likely exhibit?

Didelphis virginiana opossum.htm didelphimorphia/

Local Name: Possum

Semi-arboreal Omnivores – eat pretty much anything that they can get in their mouths

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Gray Fox – Belize what characteristics would they likely exhibit?Urocyon cinereoargenteus

“tree fox” is distributed from Canada to Venezuela

Mostly nocturnal and crepuscular

Opportunistic hunters

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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

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When you think about a rainforest (jungle) what animals come to mind?......


CITES endangered species

Order: Primates

Important seed dispersal agents

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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

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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

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Bats: order Chiroptera to mind?......

Bats are either carnivorous (insects) or fruit/nectar eaters

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Lesser White-lined Bat to mind?......

Saccipteryx leptura

Often found roosting in or near human habitations batlist.html

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Fishing Bat to mind?......

Noctilio leporinus

Adapted for catching fish

Local Name: Greater Bulldog Bat FotosMorcegos.htm barbados.php

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Jamaican Fruit-eating Bat to mind?......

Atribeus jamaicensis scase10.html fauna_c.html

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Brown Long-tongued Bat to mind?......

Glossophaga commissarisi mtschapka/bats.html

Local Name: Commissaris’ Long-tongued Bat script11.html

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Order Carnivora: to mind?......

Meat eaters

Family Felidae:

All species of wild felid are listed as at least species of concern by CITES

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Jaguaroundi - to mind?......Herpailurus yagouaroundi

Sometimes known as an otter cat – Semi- aquatic environments – diurnal and more common in disturbed areas

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Ocelot - to mind?......Leopardus pardalis

found in forested areas but is at risk from hunting for its fur and trapping for the pet trade.

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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

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Puma - to mind?......Felis concolor

Most widely distributed felid in western hemisphere.

Diet varies from small mammals to deer and tapir

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Jaguar – to mind?......Panthera onca

Largest terrestrial predator in Central/South America.

Often confused w/ Leopard

Jaguar has no natural predators

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Weasel family to mind?......

Family Mustelidae

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Tayra - to mind?......Eira barbara

Long, slender body has short limbs and a long tail

Diet – fruit, insects, small mammals


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Grison – to mind?......Galictis vittata

Burrowing and terrestrial

Feeds on small mammals, reptiles, invertebrates

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Family Prcyonidae to mind?......

Raccoons and related critters

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Kinkajou – to mind?......Potos flavus

“night walker” in Belize

One of the most commonly seen tropical forest animals

Arboreal and nocturnal

Primarily eats fruit

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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

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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

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Order artiodactyla to mind?......

Even-toed ungulates – Deer, cows, antelope, etc.

Family Cervidae

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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

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White-tailed Deer- to mind?......Odecoileus virginianus

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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


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Order Perissodactyla to mind?......

Odd-toed ungulates

rhinos, equids, tapirs

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Baird’s Tapir – Tapirus bairdii to mind?......

Status: Endangered – heavily hunted

Avoid human disturbance

Good hill climbers, runners, sliders, waders, divers, swimmers

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Order Rodentia to mind?......

Most diverse order of mammals

Primary consumers in most ecosystems

Seldom seen considering their prevalence….why?

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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

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Vesper Rat to mind?......Nictomys sumichrasti

The eyes are large, and the hind feet are modified for nocturnal arboreal life

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Order Didelphimorphia "frenzy dance." After several sprays she allows the male to approach

New world opposums

Marsupials – non placental mammals with a pouch - marsupium

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Water Opossum "frenzy dance." After several sprays she allows the male to approach

Chironectes minimus

Local Name: Water Dog, Yapo opossum.htm

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Order Xenarthra "frenzy dance." After several sprays she allows the male to approach

Anteaters, sloths, armadillos

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Northern Tamandua "frenzy dance." After several sprays she allows the male to approach

Tamandua mexicana

Local Name: Antsbear tamandua.htm

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Northern, Naked-tailed Armadillo "frenzy dance." After several sprays she allows the male to approach

Cabassous centralis paginas/hoja2_31.html

Local Name: Dilly

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Order Cetacea "frenzy dance." After several sprays she allows the male to approach

Marine mammals – whales and dolphins

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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

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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

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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

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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

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The End "frenzy dance." After several sprays she allows the male to approach didelphimorphia/