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A Rainforest Bestiary

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  1. A Rainforest Bestiary • “Animal life is, on the whole, far more abundant and more varied within the tropics than in any other par of the globe, and a great number of peculiar groups are found there which never extend into temperate regions. Endless eccentricities of form, and extreme richness of colour are its most prominent features, and these are manifested in the highest degree in those equatrorial lands where the vegetation acquirers its greatest beauty and its fullest development” Wallace

  2. A Rainforest BestiaryMammals • As a group, rainforest mammals tend to be secretive and mostly nocturnal, making them difficult to see

  3. A Rainforest BestiaryMonkeys • Neotropical monkeys all belong to a group named the platyrrhines (nostril position, open at the sides), but their prehensile tails are the obvious trait • A minimum of 49 sp in the Neotropics • Occupy a variety of niches in various kinds of forest

  4. A Rainforest Bestiary • Range from large, apelike monkeys (spider, woolly, howler) to medium-sized ‘typical’ monkeys (e.g. capuchins, and squirrel monkeys), monkeys with bald faces (uakaris), monkeys with long, shaggy fur (sakis), nocturnal (owl monkeys or douroucouli), small lemur-like monkeys (marmosets) and squirrel-like monkeys (tamarins)

  5. A Rainforest Bestiary • Typical monkeys are Cebidae while tamarins and marmosets are Callitricidae • Occur all across all forest types, but reach there greatest numbers in lowland rainforest • Strongly arboreal

  6. A Rainforest Bestiary • Although there are many species, there are a few areas in which there are no ecological equivalents to some OW sp • All NW monkeys are forest monkeys (vs. baboons of the AF savanna) • There are no great apes (howler @ 20lb) • Spider monkeys are similar to Gibbons

  7. A Rainforest Bestiary • Capuchins (4 sp) range from C Am through Amazonia and are very abundant • Relatively small (0.3-0.6m; 1-4kg) • Pale brown to black fur with whitish face • Travel in troops (5-30) • Omnivorous, eat palm seeds • Important seed dispersers

  8. A Rainforest Bestiary • Titi monkeys (3sp; 8subsp) and are smaller than capuchins • Thick fur around face • Small groups (2-6) • Non-prehensile tail • Thick jungle (bamboo) • Dawn chorus

  9. A Rainforest Bestiary • Squirrel moneys (3sp) are widespread occuring into C Am • Smaller than capuchins • Gallery, lowland, and early succession forests • Big troops (20-100) • Fruits and insects • Estimated 50-80/mi2

  10. A Rainforest Bestiary • Night monkeys (or douroucouli) are small (1 kg) and truly noctornal (9sp) • Throughout SAm into C • 2-5 roost in tree cavities • Forage ground to canopy • Fruits, insects, nestlings • Body positioning, not face

  11. A Rainforest Bestiary • Uakaris (2sp) are med-large monkeys in the gallery forests of the upper reaches of Amazon

  12. A Rainforest Bestiary • Short, hairy, non-prehensile tails • Groups of 10-30 sp forage on fruits, leaves, flowers, arthropods (especially caterpillars)

  13. A Rainforest Bestiary • The sakis (4 sp) and bearded sakis (2 sp) are similar to uakaris, but have hair on face and have longer tails • Very good leapers • Small groups (<5) • Frugivores of rainforest canopy

  14. A Rainforest Bestiary • Spider monkeys occur from Mexico thru Amazon (5 sp; geographically distinct) • Rather large (6+kg), but very long limbs and long prehensile tail (.5-.9m)

  15. A Rainforest Bestiary • Troops typically consist of 8 males, 15 females and 10 young of various ages • Maybe bachelor male troops • Move by brachiation • 80% fruit 20% leaves

  16. A Rainforest Bestiary • Both species of wooly spider monkey (or muriqui) are found in Atlantic rainforest • Numbers greatly reduced

  17. A Rainforest Bestiary

  18. A Rainforest Bestiary • Woolly monkeys have very thick fur, which can be black, gray, reddish • Some widespread (e.g. common WM) but others rare (e.g. yellow-tailed WM) • Relatively large (10kg)

  19. A Rainforest Bestiary • Woollies have prehensile tails and are arboreal acrobats • Group frugivores (2-60) • Probably most intensely hunted monkey • Low reproductive rate = trouble

  20. A Rainforest Bestiary • Howler monkeys (6sp) are large (10+ kg) and the best studied monkey in the Neotropics • Amazon to Yucatan • All sp are subtly different in color morph • Most sp in trouble

  21. A Rainforest Bestiary • Howlers are named for their ferocious voice, which they use at dusk & dawn • Enlarged throat sac (♂) and tracheal cartilage resonate and amplify voice • Males 30% larger • Clans vary in size (4-35) • Live in many low forest

  22. A Rainforest Bestiary • Diet 64% leaves (mostly young), 18% flowers, 12% fruit, 6% leaf petioles • This maximizes protein, minimizes secondary compounds and fibers

  23. A Rainforest Bestiary • Marmosets (4sp) and tamarins (11sp) are small monkeys that are active & v. arboreal • Tails are non-prehensile • Forest dwellers, frequent gaps (why?) • Feed upon fruits and insects (and some sapsuck)

  24. A Rainforest Bestiary • It is difficult to determine both the geographic range of marmosets as well as the correct status of subspecies • Too small to hunt, but nice pets

  25. A Rainforest Bestiary • Tamarins are similar to marmosets, frequently having tufts of hair forming moustaches, topknots, or ruffs • Most restricted to Amazonia

  26. A Rainforest Bestiary • Golden lion tamarin is the most endangered of Neotropical primate (probably from deforestation… it does OK with disturbance)

  27. A Rainforest Bestiary • Tamarins and marmosets are unusual among primates for their flexile breeding systems. • They tend toward mongamy, though most primates are highly polygynous • In fact, they may exhibit polyandry • Groups consist of 4-6 adults, with one dominant female doing all the breeding

  28. A Rainforest Bestiary • The saddleback tamarin displays both polyandry and cooperative breeding • A dominant female breeds, but juveniles stay and help raise siblings • Why help?

  29. A Rainforest Bestiaryrodents • Most species of mammals have a large pair of continuously growing, chisel-like incisor in which they gnaw everything • Why… • about 44% of all mammals are rodents!! • The rodent assemblage consist of colonizers from afar (e.g. tree squirrels, pocket mice, rice rats) and several groups unique to the Neotropics

  30. A Rainforest Bestiaryrodents • Some groups unique to the Neotropics include the porcupines, spiny rats, agoutis, paca, and capybara (all Cavimorphs) • Other cavimorhs include the guinea pig, chinchillas, and NA porcupine

  31. A Rainforest Bestiaryrodents • Agoutis (6sp) are one of the most common of the larger rodents ranging from Mex to Argentina • Primarily diurnal and forest dwellers • 60-75cm bodies, 1-3.5kg • Reddish brown to black • Feed like this (seed fruit)

  32. A Rainforest Bestiaryrodents • Very important seed dispersers as the practice ‘scatter hoarding’ • Why do this?

  33. A Rainforest Bestiaryrodents • When agoutis retire for evening, they are replaced by another rodent… • They often appear near water • Monogamous, but forage solo and the male has his own place!! • Similar to agoutis, but with stripes and larger with shorter legs (up to 10kg) pacas

  34. A Rainforest Bestiaryrodents • Pacas are also frugivores, but also take other leaf matter • It is tasty meat…

  35. A Rainforest Bestiaryrodents • Capybara, the world’s largest rodent is highly aquatic

  36. A Rainforest Bestiaryrodents • Porcupines and dwarf porcupines (15 sp) all look like porcupines and have prehensile tails • All have sort faces with large, bulbous noses and small eyes and ears • Diet is fruits, bark, and leaves

  37. A Rainforest Bestiaryrodents • Spiny rats and tree rats (60-100sp) are te most diverse cavimorph rodents • Spiny rats may be the most abundant mammal in the rainforest, but solitary and nocturnal • Hairs in hind quarter area have spines (no barbs)

  38. A Rainforest Bestiaryrodents • Tails can break off when predator approaches • Closely related to tree rats (they are found on the forest floor)

  39. A Rainforest Bestiaryrodents • Netropical trees harbor a great number of tree squirrels (18sp) • These rodents invaded during the GAI

  40. A Rainforest Bestiaryrodents • There are a group of mice known as the spiny pocket mice that look and act like the deer mice and white-footed mice of temperate America • They are granivores

  41. A Rainforest Bestiary • Collared and white-lipped peccaries • Members of the Artiodactyles • Although similar to pigs, own family • Upper canines point straight down and are sharp • Highly social (3-30)

  42. A Rainforest Bestiary • Collared found throughout SAm and into Mexico in savannas and forests • 23-30kg • Forage on roots, bulbs, stems, leaves and fruits (also arthropods and small vertebrates) • Can be aggressive

  43. A Rainforest Bestiary • White-lipped peccary can occur in large herds (50-300) in the rainforest • They can be v. aggressive • Frugivores • They have a bite 1.3x harder than collared peccaries…so what?

  44. A Rainforest Bestiary • Tapirs (4 sp; 3 NW) are Perissodactyls and are related to horses and rhino’s • Stocky and almost hairless (but a short mane) with an elongated probiscus • Select plants somewhat on odor • Vegetarians • 3 sp separated by range and habitat

  45. A Rainforest Bestiary • Brazilian (or lowland) Tapir is the most widespread is found throughout Amazonia

  46. A Rainforest Bestiary • Baird’s tapir ranges throughout C Am and northern S Am, west of the Andes

  47. A Rainforest Bestiary • Mountain tapir has the most restricted range and is confined to higher elevations (east side of Andes)

  48. A Rainforest Bestiary • Tapirs and peccaries are widely hunted and thus tend to be very wary (also making them somewhat difficult to see)

  49. A Rainforest Bestiary • Armadillos, anteaters, and sloths are Neotropical (expect 1) and are in the family Xenarthra (peglike teeth) • Anteaters are toothless (edentate), but the others are peglike and have other skeletal modifications that unite the group

  50. A Rainforest Bestiary • One of the most common anteaters is the (0.6m) tamandua (2 sp, N and S)