Alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii)
Range: The alligator snapping turtle is found primarily in southeastern United States waters. They are found from the Florida Panhandle west to East Texas, north to southeastern Kansas, Missouri, southeastern Iowa, western Illinois, southern Indiana, western Kentucky, and western Tennessee. The alligator snapping turtle is only found in rivers and streams that flow into the Gulf of Mexico. They use their wormlike tongue as a lure for small prey, snapping their open mouth shut with great force and speed.
Description: The alligator snapping turtle's defining characteristics are its large head, strong jaws and hooked beak. It has a spiked, dark-brown carapace. Alligator snapping turtles have long, narrow tongues equipped with an appendage that looks like a worm to attract prey. Found almost exclusively in the rivers, canals, and lakes of the southeastern United States, alligator snappers can live to be 50 to 100 years old. Males average 26 inches in shell length and weigh about 175 pounds, although they have been known to exceed 220 pounds. The largest on record was 249 pounds.
Diet: Alligator snapping turtles are opportunistic feeders. In the wild they'll eat everything from duckweed and algae to crustaceans, carrion, birds and small mammals. Feed them a similar diet. Feed hatchlings and juveniles every day and adult snapping turtles every other day.
Lifespan: Incubation takes from 100 to 140 days, and hatchlings emerge in the early fall. Though their potential lifespans in the wild are unknown, alligator snapping turtles are believed to be capable of living to 200 years of age, but 80 to 120 is more likely. In captivity, they typically live between 20 and 70 years.
Andean condor (Vultur gryphus)
Range: The Andean condor is found in South America in the Andes mountain range; including the Santa Marta Mountains. In the north, its range begins in Venezuela and Colombia, where it is extremely rare, then continues south along the Andes in Ecuador, Peru, and Chile, through Bolivia and western Argentina to the Tierra del Fuego.
Description: Andean condors have the largest wing area of any bird, reaching nearly 11 feet. Their feathers turn dark at maturity (while juveniles are olive-grey and brown), with a white collar or downy plumage around the base of their necks. They also have white flight feathers on their wings as adults, with those of the male being more pronounced.
Diet: Condors are primarily scavengers and feed on carrion, such as the remains of deer, cow, sheep, and the like, though they will eat smaller animals when they can find them.
Lifespan: 45-50 years in the wild, with the oldest on record living in captivity to 79 years.
Black-handed spider monkey (Ateles fusciceps)
Spider monkeys are named after a behavior of hanging from the trees by holding different branches with their limbs and long tails, "shaped" like spiders. Spider monkeys do not have a thumb. Their four fingers are curved and look like a hook, which is special adaptation to the life in the forest.
Range: Black-handed spider monkey are arboreal, preferring to live in the upper canopy of forests in Central America and down into South America. Black-handed spider monkeys live in large groups of around 30 individuals, although groups of up to 100 have been reported.
Description: Black-handed spider monkeys have long limbs and tail. Their hair is black, brown or reddish and the face is often marked with unpigmented skin around the eyes and muzzle. The arms and feet are darker than the rest of their body.
Diet: They also tend to feed on young leaves, flowers, aerial roots, occasionally bark and wood, honey, insects/insect larvae, and bird eggs. Spider monkeys eat while hanging, climbing or moving.
Lifespan: Healthy Spider monkeys live 22 years.
Capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris)
Range: Capybaras are native to Central and South America and live near lots of water; such as swamps, lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers. Capybaras are semiaquatic mammals found throughout almost all countries of South America except Chile. They live in densely forested areas near bodies of water, such as lakes, rivers, swamps, ponds, and marshes, as well as flooded savannah and along rivers in the tropical rainforest.
Description: They are stocky, a somewhat pig-like animal, and characterized by a large, blunt head, heavy muzzle, short, robust legs, and rudimentary tail. Although they look like beavers, capybaras are actually the world’s largest rodent.
Diet: They are herbivorous animal that only eats plant matter; made up of grasses and aquatic plants, along with fruits and berries and the occasional munch on soft tree bark.
Lifespan: 8–10 years on average, but live less than four years in the wild.
Giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla )
Giant anteaters, also known as the ant bear, is an insectivorous mammal native to Central and South America. They are edentate animals, meaning they have no teeth. Generally they are known as solitary, non-aggressive animals, but when corned can yield out four inch claws to fight off even a puma or jaguar.
Range: Native to Central and South America, its known range stretches from Honduras to northern Argentina, living primarily in tropical rainforest, deciduous woodland, open grassland, and timber plantations.
Description: One of the more stranger-looking animals on our planet. Can measure up to 6.5 feet in length, weighing 40-100 pounds. Coat is shaggy, greyish/brown with black and white diagonal markings on their shoulders. Their heads are long and narrow with a tubular snout.
Diet: Insectivore, eating ants and terminates. Their long tongues can lap up 35,000 ants and termites a day.
Lifespan: In captivity, the average lifespan of an anteater is 20 years. They normally live about 14 years in the wild. Currently, they are considered a vulnerable species with their population currently decreasing.
Fun facts: Their tongues are about 2 feet long, and covered with tiny spines which point toward the back of the throat. Additionally, their tongue is coated with a thick, sticky coat of saliva (which is secreted from relatively enlarged salivary glands). Prior to swallowing, the insect-coated tongue is firmly pressed against the anteater's hard upper palate – crushing their meal and easing ingestion.
Anteaters are able to detect insects with their powerful sense of smell, 40 times that of man.
If threatened, the typically non-vocal giant anteater may make a bellowing noise. Additionally, they will often rear up on their hind quarters and swipe with their up to 4 inch long foreclaws.
Anteaters do not walk on the soles of their forefeet. Rather, they flex the digits upward and turn the forefeet inward, such that the large foreclaws do not come in contact with the ground.
Greater rhea (Rhea americana)
Range: Rheas are from South America only and are limited within the continent to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. They are grassland birds and both species prefer open land. The greater rheas live in open grasslands, pampas, and chaco woodlands. They prefer to breed near water and prefer lowlands, seldom going above 4,900 feet. On the other hand, the lesser rhea will inhabit most shrubland, grassland, even desert salt puna up to 14,800 feet. They are grassland birds and both species prefer open land. The greater rheas live in open grasslands, pampas, and chaco woodlands.
Description: They large flightless birds that can grow to be over five feet tall, and can weigh close to 90 pounds! It's no wonder that rheas are the largest birds in South America. Rheas are dark gray in color, and their bodies are covered in feathers. They have very long necks, as well as tall legs. They are related to the ostrich and emu.
Diet: Greater rheas are opportunistic eaters. They enjoy plants, fruits, and seeds but also eat insects, lizards, birds, and other small game. Rheas have a taste for agricultural crops, which earns them the ire of many South American farmers.
Lifespan: In the wild, the greater rhea has a life expectancy of only 10.5 years. In captivity, these birds can live up to 40 years. Some rheas are raised on farms for meat, leather, feathers, and oil.
African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus)
Range: The gray parrot has a wide historic range across West and central Africa -- 1.1 million square miles from Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana in West Africa, through Nigeria and Cameroon and the Congo forests, to Uganda and western Kenya. African greys are found throughout the lowland rainforests in western and central Africa. While they prefer to inhabit the rainforest, they have also been seen on forest edges, within gallery forests (which are forests located alongside streams or rivers), and in gardens. In their natural habitat, African grey parrots can travel up to 6-7 miles per day. No domestic setting can match flying free through the luscious African forest! This species of parrot is monogamous, which means that they only mate with one companion at a time.
Description: It has a darker gray body, nearly black, with a horn-colored beak, and its tail ranges in color from maroon to dark gray or black. African grey parrots generally inhabit savannas, coastal mangroves, woodland and edges of forest clearings in their West and Central Africa range.
Diet: African Grey Parrots eat a variety of seeds, nuts, fruits, berries and vegetation in the wild. They will clamber from branch to branch while feeding instead of flying. They especially treasure the fruits of the oil palm. African Greys are vulnerable to calcium and vitamin A deficiencies and obesity.
Lifespan: In the wild, African grey parrots will live 40-50 years. However, they have been known to live for up to 80 years in captivity. So, if it is your plan to adopt one as a pet, it's imperative that you can commit to a lifetime of living with a bird.
Jaguar (Panthera onca)
Range: The jaguar is found in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Belize, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, French Guiana, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Suriname, Panama, Mexico, Costa Rica, and United States. Jaguars can survive in many different habitats. They are normally found near water, and prefer swampland or tropical rainforest. They also survive in forests, grassland and scrub. The jaguar is a solitary animal and lives and hunts alone, except during mating season. The male's home range is between 19 to 53 square miles. The female's home range is between 10 to 37 square miles. A male jaguar may share his home range with several females.
Description: Their base color is a tan/orange hue, and their underbelly is white. Their dark spots consist of solid black markings on their undersides, and “hollow” black circles on their backs. They have large teeth, large eyes, four muscular legs, and a long tail that gives them balance while hunting. Some jaguars are even white. The jaguar's coat on its side and back is spotted with large black rosettes, each consisting of a circle of spots surrounding a central spot. The spots on its head, legs, and underside are solid black.
Why are some jaguars black? Black jaguars and leopards occur due to a gene called melanism. They are often referred to as black panthers, and are thought of as a separate species. In reality, they are just jaguars and leopards with a black coat. White tigers and lions occur due to a gene called leucism.
Diet: Jaguars are known to eat deer, peccary, crocodiles, snakes, monkeys, deer, sloths, tapirs, turtles, eggs, frogs, fish and anything else they can catch. Jaguars are ambush predators that kill their victims using the element of surprise; typically from surprising their prey from a height advantage like leaping from an overhanging tree. They will pierce the skull of an animal and kill it with a single bite. They can eat 85 different types of animals.
Lifespan: Young males are at first nomadic, jostling with their older counterparts until they succeed in claiming a territory. Typical lifespan in the wild is estimated at around 12-15 years; in captivity, the jaguar lives up to 23 years, placing it among the longest-lived cats.
Kori bustard (Ardeotis kori)
Range: The Kori Bustard has two distinct ranges in Africa: one in the southwest near the Horn of Africa, and one in the far south. The southwestern range includes parts of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania. The far southern range includes all of Botswana and Namibia, as well as parts of Zimbabwe and South Africa. Kori Bustards inhabit wide, open grasslands, and lightly wooded savanna. The subspecies kori can be found in arid savanna areas where trees are usually scattered.
Description: The Kori Bustard is cryptically colored, meaning there are many blotches and spots all over its body. Its back and tail are a light brown, with large black and white spots near the front underside of their wings. The chin, throat and neck are whitish with thin, fine black lines. The upper parts and neck are a vermiculated black and greyish-buff color. The feathers around the neck are loose, giving the appearance of a thicker neck than they really have. When standing, their height reaches 3.5 – 4.5 feet tall
Diet: Kori bustards are omnivorous birds, although they tend to be more carnivorous than other species of bustards. Insects form a large portion of their diet, especially when they are chicks. They also eat a variety of small mammals, lizards, snakes, seeds and berries.
Lifespan: The lifespan of wild kori bustards is not known in the wild, but they live to at least 26 or possibly 28 years old in captivity.
Macaw family: Blue and Gold Macaw and Hyacinth Macaw
Blue and Gold Macaw (Ara ararauna)
The blue and gold macaw, also known as the blue-and-gold macaw, is a large South American parrot with mostly blue top parts and light orange underparts, with gradient hues of green on top of its head. It is a member of the large group of neotropical parrots known as macaws
Range: Blue-and-gold macaws are native to South and Central America, where they inhabit forests and woodlands. Their range includes Venezuela south to Peru, Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay, as well as parts of Panama. According to IUCN Red List, the wild population of Blue-and-gold macaws has not been quantified, but it is believed to be more than 10,000 adult birds, with a decline over the past 10 years of less than 10%.
Description: The Blue and Yellow Macaw has blue wings and tail, black chin, golden underparts and a green forehead. Their beaks are black and very strong for crushing nuts. The naked face is white, turning pink in excited birds and lined with small black feathers. An adult will grow in height to 2.5-3 feet. There is no reliable way to determine if your macaw is male or female by external physical examination. DNA testing is the least invasive of all the methods to determine the sex of a macaw. The other methods are chromosomal testing and surgical sexing.
Diet: In the wild, most macaws, including blue-and-gold macaws, eat a variety of seeds, plant material, fruits, and nuts. The wild macaw's diet tends to be high in fat, which is acceptable for a bird that spends its day flying through the rainforest, finding food, nesting, and rearing chicks.
Lifespan: Adult blue and gold macaws typically live between 30 and 35 years in the wild. When captive as pets or cared for at zoos, these birds can live upwards of 50 years. One blue and gold macaw was reported to be 112 years old in 2011, although claims that the bird belonged to Winston Churchill were proved false.
Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus)
Range: The hyacinth macaw is native to central and eastern South America. There are three main populations: one in the Pantanal wetland region of Brazil, eastern Bolivia, and northeastern Paraguay; another in the Cerrado region of Brazil's eastern interior; and one in the Amazon basin of Brazil. The hyacinth macaw lives primarily in the scrublands at the outskirts of the rainforest, though its large range also includes grasslands and lightly forested regions. It is an endangered species; there are an estimated 2,500 to 5,000 Hyacinth macaws left in the wild today.
Description: Hyacinth macaws are the largest of the parrots and, as their name implies, are covered with bright blue plumage. They have bare yellow eye ring circles around large black eyes, a yellow chin, a strongly hooked beak and zygodactylous feet (2 toes that point forward and 2 toes that point backward). Anecdotally known as "gentle giants," these parrots can make fine pets for highly experienced bird owners. Hyacinth macaws are intelligent birds, and have shown a facility for limited tool use both in captivity and in the wild. They can also learn to talk but are not among the parrot world's best talkers.
Diet: The majority of the hyacinth macaw diet is Brazil nuts, from native palms, such as acuri and bocaiuva palms. They have very strong beaks for eating the kernels of hard nuts and seeds. Their strong beaks are even able to crack coconuts, the large brazil nut pods, and macadamia nuts.
Lifespan: Their lifespan in the wild is between 50-60 years, and they can live even longer in captivity. Some zoo and private pet owners record some Hyacinth macaws living in excess of 100 years.
Macaw family: Green-winged Macaw and Military Macaw
Green-winged Macaw (Ara chloropterus)
Range: Green-winged macaws, also known as red-and-green macaws, are native to southern Central America and northern South America. They inhabit tropical rainforest. The Maryland Zoo features a green-winged macaw among its Animal Ambassadors, which are introduced to audiences in education programs on and off grounds. They live throughout north and central South America, where they prefer humid, lowland forest. In the southern part of their range, they frequent open habitats, including deciduous forest. In flight, these birds call loudly to each other. Green-winged macaws eat fruits and nuts.
Description: The green-winged macaw has a partly red plumage and a blue back and rump. Its long tail is tipped with blue, and its wings are blue with dark green upper wing coverts. The bird's upper beak is horn-colored, and the lower beak is black. It has gray legs. The green band transitions to dark blue on the wings, and there is light blue on the rump and on the tail feathers. The long tail feathers are red, tipped in blue. The legs and feet are a deep gray, and the beak is horn-colored with a black lower mandible. Green-winged Macaws are a full sized Macaws. They have an average length of about 35.5 inches and a weight of up to about 2.7 pounds. That great big beak can look intimidating, but the green-winged macaw is actually the gentler of the large macaws, not known for biting and massive mood swings.
Diet: In the wild, green-wing macaws eat fruit, seeds, berries, and nuts. They also congregate at clay cliffs. Clay contains minerals and salts that the birds consume to neutralize toxins.
Lifespan: A well-kept green wing, one that's healthy and well-treated, is a pleasant companion and long-time friend, with a life span of more than 70 years.
Military Macaw (Ara militaris)
Range: Occasionally treated as being conspecific with the Great Green Macaw, the Military Macaw has a wide but distinctly patchy range, which extends from Mexico to the northern Andes and adjacent ranges, to Bolivia and northwest Argentina. Military macaws are native to Central America and South America. Their range generally extends from Mexico to Argentina. Unlike other parrots, military macaws tend to prefer arid lands over tropical rainforests. You can also find them in dry forests and in trees near the water.
Description: Military macaws are mostly green with light blue and yellow flight and tail feathers and a bright red patch on their forehead. Their face is bare and white in color with black striations. The large strong beak is grey-black and the iris is yellow. It bears a red frontal patch, with a white bare facial area barred with narrow black lines. The flight feathers are blue and the red tail bordered with blue. The large strong beak is grey-black and the iris is yellow. Military Macaws can often be heard long before they are seen. They have a very loud squawk that can be heard for miles.
Diet: The Military Macaws diet consists of seeds, fruits, nuts, berries and other vegetation found on treetops in the rainforests. Their beaks are well adapted for eating various seeds and nuts as they have the ability to break open the hardest of shells with relative ease.
Lifespan: Military macaws live in large flocks and can live about 50–60 years in the wild. They can often be heard long before they are seen. In captivity, they can live well beyond 80 years old.
Scarlet macaw (Ara macao)
Range: It is native to humid evergreen forests of tropical Central and South America. Range extends from southeastern Mexico to the Peruvian Amazon, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Venezuela and Brazil in lowlands of 1,640 feet (at least formerly) up to 3,281 feet. The Scarlet Macaw can also be found in eastern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Colombia, Ecuador, Amazonian Peru and Brazil.
Description: Scarlet macaws are brightly colored birds with feathers ranging in color bands from scarlet on their head and shoulders, to yellow on their back and mid wing feathers and blue on the wing tips and tail feathers. The face has short white feathers. This area surrounds the light yellow colored eyes. Scarlet macaws make very loud, high and sometimes low-pitched, throaty squawks, squeaks and screams designed to carry many miles to call for their groups.
Diet: Nuts, leaves, berries, and seeds from the rainforest make up the bulk of the scarlet macaw's diet. Its strong, hooked beak is perfect for breaking nuts and seeds.
Lifespan: The scarlet macaw can live up to 75 or even 90 years in captivity, although a more typical lifespan is 40 to 50 years. Scarlet macaw produces different types of screams and low-pitched noise for communication and to inform other birds about the nearby predators. Natural enemies of scarlet macaws are monkeys, jaguars, hawks, eagles and snakes.
Maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus)
The maned wolf is the largest canid in South America. The particularly long legs of the maned wolf are likely an adaptation which allows them to see above the tall grass in which they often hunt. The maned wolf derives its name from the characteristic mane on its neck which stands erect when it scents danger. There are thought to be only around 23,600 adults left in the wild. Maned Wolves are protected by law in parts of their range, with hunting prohibited in Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia, although enforcing those laws is often difficult.
Range: Found in central South America, from northeastern Brazil, south through Paraguay and west into Peru, small areas of Argentina and Bolivia, and may still be present in some areas of Uruguay.
Description: Its body is covered with long, reddish-brown hair. The mouth, the back and the tail of the animal is black. The tip of the tail, chin and throat are sometimes white. The long, almost black legs allow the maned wolf to see above the long grass while running.
Diet: Small mammals such as wild guinea pigs, rabbits, young burrowing rodents, insects, reptiles, and birds, but they also eat fruits, sugarcane, and other plants.
Lifespan: In human care, median life expectancy is 6.5 years with a maximum of 12 to 15 years.
Fun facts: Maned wolves are very social; in fact, in the wild, they share their habitat with a wide variety of other carnivores: bush dog, crab-eating fox, hoary fox, pampas fox, puma, jaguar, pampas cat, jaguarondi, crab-eating raccoon, hog-nosed skunk and grison.
Squirrel monkey (Saimiri)
Range: The Squirrel Monkey is a small species of New World Monkey that is found native in the forests and tropical jungles of Central and South America. Measuring as little as 10-12 inches from the top of the head to the base of their tail, these tiny primates are more than double that size when including their long tail. Squirrel monkeys live in dense tropical rainforests, wetlands, marshes and mangrove forests. Habitat loss is the main threat to the survival of squirrel monkeys.
Description: Squirrel Monkeys have very distinctively colored, short fur which is mostly olive or grey in color with the exception of their bright yellow legs and white face. Their fur is short and dense. They are usually greenish-olive, brownish-gray, or a rusty-red over the main parts of the body; black on the shoulders; and some have yellowish-orange on the back, forearms, and the bottom parts of their rear limbs. They have a white throat and ears.
Diet: Squirrel monkeys are omnivorous eating mainly fruit and some insects; they also consume some leaves and seeds. The first hour or so of the day is spent foraging for fruit. From then on, they also look for invertebrates and small vertebrates (i.e. small frogs and lizards).
Lifespan: Boliviensis are not fully weaned until 18 months old. Female squirrel monkeys reach sexual maturity at age 2–2.5 years, while males take until age 3.5–4 years. They live to about 15 years old in the wild, and over 20 years in captivity.
Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis)
Range: Many ocelots live under the leafy canopies of South American rain forests, but they also inhabit brushlands and can be found as far north as Texas. These cats can adapt to human habitats and are sometimes found in the vicinity of villages or other settlements. The Ocelot is an incredibly adaptable animal that can be found in variety of habitats including tropical forests, grasslands, mangrove forests and marshes providing that there is plenty of dense vegetation. The ocelot ranges from the southwestern United States to northern Argentina, up to an elevation of 9,800 feet. It inhabits tropical forests, thorn forests, mangrove swamps and savannas.
Description: Ocelots have distinctive black spots and bands over a reddish/tan background. Their undersides are more cream-colored, and have fewer spots. The spots on the ocelot's legs, tail, and head are smaller, while the pattern on its body is more extensive. Their tails are 1.5 feet in length. The fur of the Ocelot is similar to that of a Jaguar. It is dark brown with irregular shaped spots and stripes. The stripes are edged with black on a yellow/tawny background giving this medium size cat a most distinctive appearance.
Diet: The ocelot eats mice, rabbits, rats, birds, snakes, lizards, fish and frogs. The ocelot is solitary, but sometimes hunts with another ocelot. It calls to its hunting partner with meows that sound like a house cat's call.
Lifespan: Young ocelots are ready to begin independent life at the age of one year. Average lifespan of ocelot is 10 to 13 years in the wild and up to 20 years in captivity.
Patagonian cavy (Dolichotis patagonum)
Range: The Patagonian cavy, also known as the Patagonian mara, is the world's largest rodent. In the wild, they are native only to Argentina (specifically in provinces such as La Rioja, Catamarca, Santiago del Estero and Cordoba) residing in semi-open sandy plains and shrub land. Though only found natively in Argentina, Patagonian cavies are quite prevalent there and live throughout the country. They inhabit dry areas and habitat types including shrubland, desert, brushland and grassland. Patagonian cavies are often drawn to environments that are open and airy.
Description: Patagonian cavy are long-legged rodents with bodies similar to hoofed animals. Their coats, which are stiff, dense and very fine in texture, are primarily gray-brown, with a white patch along the chest and stomach and orange coloration around the flanks and head. Their typical weight is in the range of about 18 to 35 pounds. Their basic fur coloration is brown, although their underbellies are white. Facially, Patagonian cavies possess big eyes and wide muzzles. Some describe them as extra large rabbits without the large ears.
Diet: Patagonian cavies eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, grasses, and some commercially prepared rodent food. Dark, leafy greens, fresh hay, and grass should make up the bulk of the herbivore's diet. They are grazers, so they tend to munch and chew on things all waking hours.
Lifespan: Young maras will nurse for much longer than most other rodent species, about 75 days, before being weaned. Patagonian maras can live for approximately 14 years in human care. Their lifespan in the wild is unknown.
Patagonian conure (Cyanoliseus patagonus patagonus)
Range: Patagonian Conure thrives in mostly arid and seemingly harsh conditions, such as the popular Monte Desert. They also nest in savannahs near rivers and streams, as well in open grasslands. Argentina offers a variety of habitats, and the Patagonian conure easily adapted to each one.
Description: Adult color is olive/brown head, neck, back and breast; lower back to tail and upper abdomen yellow; orange/red thighs and center of abdomen; throat and breast grey/brown, white marks at bend of wing on breast; tail olive/green tinted with blue, undertail brown/grey. Full grown weight is 9-10 ounces. Patagonians are pretty loud. They are not near as loud as a Severe Macaw, but they are loud birds making their calls heard up to 3 miles in the distance.
Diet: Patagonian Conure natural diet comprises of nuts, seeds, berries and fruit during the summer month. Sometimes these birds have been known to damage grain crops as they often feed on or near the ground.
Lifespan: No data on lifespan in the wild; however, in captivity, a healthy conure can live in excess of 35-40 years.
Ring tailed lemurs (Lemur catta)
Range: Ring tailed lemurs come from Madagascar, the island off the East Coast of Africa. They live in the rainforest and spend most of their time on the forest floor, although they do climb but tend to spend more time in the mid canopy than the very top of the trees like ruffed lemurs. Endemic to southern and southwestern Madagascar, the ring-tailed lemur ranges further into highland areas than other lemurs. It inhabits deciduous forests, dry scrub, montane humid forests, and gallery forests (forests along riverbanks).
Description: Ring-tailed lemurs have black skin, mostly covered by grey fur. They also have patches of white fur on their faces, ears, and underbelly. Their long tails have a fur pattern of alternating black and white rings. They have bright yellow or amber eyes, surrounded by mask-like black skin. The ring tailed lemur's tail is longer than its body! Male ring tailed lemurs put smells, from glands in their bottoms, on their tail and wave it at rivals. It's known as 'stink fighting'! The ring tailed lemur is used as a symbol for Madagascar and for endangered animals on the island, because it's so well-known.
Diet: The ring-tailed lemur eats from as many as three dozen different plant species, and its diet includes flowers, herbs, bark and sap. It has been observed eating decayed wood, earth, spider webs, insect cocoons, arthropods (spiders, caterpillars, cicadas and grasshoppers) and small vertebrates (birds and chameleons).
Lifespan: The ring-tailed lemur is popular feature in zoos, and they do comparatively well in captivity and reproduce regularly. In captivity, ring-tailed lemurs can live for nearly 30 years, compared to up to 20 in the wild.
Emperor tamarin (Saguinus imperator)
The most prominent feature of the Emperor tamarin is the elongated mustache. Emperor tamarins live in groups of two to as many as 15 animals. Will run or walk across the forest floor, are capable of leaping across branches. Emperor tamarins are diurnal (awake during the day) and live in trees. Emperor Tamarins have black hands and feet, long reddish-orange tail, white moustaches with or without beard on the face. Emperor tamarin is named after its moustaches, which are similar in shape and size with moustaches of the late German emperor Wilhelm II.
Range: Emperor tamarins are found in the Amazon Basin portions of Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil in South America. They live in tropical forests in this area, and spend the vast majority of their time in the trees.
Description: Emperor Tamarins have black hands and feet, long reddish-orange tail, white moustaches with or without beard on the face.
Diet: Plant matter, fruit, tree sap, insects, and small vertebrates. Occasionally they will rob bird nests of their eggs. The types of insects they feed on include locusts, beetles, butterflies, spiders, and ants.
Lifespan: Healthy Emperor Tamarins can live between 10 and 20 years.
Golden lion tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia)
Range: Golden lion tamarins live in the heavily populated Atlantic coastal regions of southeastern Brazil. They live in humid forests with many vines, bromeliads, and other epiphytes. They occupy the closed canopy, often remaining 29 to 100 feet off the ground. Golden lion tamarins live in the heavily populated Atlantic coastal regions of southeastern Brazil. They live in humid forests with many vines, bromeliads, and other epiphytes.
Description: Golden lion tamarin is a small monkey. Golden lion tamarin has 12 to 15 inches long tail. Golden lion tamarin is covered with orange (golden) fur. Its tail and forepaws are brown in color. The golden lion tamarin gets its name from its bright reddish orange pelage and the extra long hairs around the face and ears which give it a distinctive mane. Its face is dark and hairless.
Diet: The key elements of the golden lion tamarin diet are flowers, soft fruits, nectar, snails, spiders, and bugs such as crickets. Golden lion tamarins occasionally eat small vertebrates. These include frogs, lizards, adult and baby birds, and bird eggs.
Lifespan: Golden lion tamarins sleep in tree holes for warmth and protection from predators at night. The first year of life is the most difficult for golden lion tamarins; 50 percent of infants die during this time. The remaining individuals usually live for about eight years and can live up to 11-14 years in human care.
South American Water Fowl
Chilean flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis)
Range: Chilean flamingos live in warm, tropical environments in South America, in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, and Peru, with some wintering in Uruguay and Brazil. They are found from sea level to altitudes of 14,760 feet and they inhabit muddy, shallow lakes that can be either alkaline or brackish, and they also inhabit coastal mudflats, estuaries, lagoons, and salt-lakes. Despite their appearance, flamingos have an ability to tolerate extreme conditions makes them well suited for harsh winters.
Description: Chilean flamingos are pale pink in color, with darker pink and black flight feathers. They have dull yellow or yellow-gray legs that have pink bands at the joints and pink webbed feet. They have long slim necks and extremely long, slender legs. The bill is bent downward in the middle and is part white and part black. Like all flamingos, the Chilean flamingo has striking pink plumage with crimson feathers along the edge of the wings. However, flamingos are not born with stunning color. Their color comes from carotenoid pigments which they consume as part of their diet. Flamingos feed with their beak upside down.
Diet: Chilean flamingos have shallow-keeled bills and feed on insects, aquatic invertebrates, and small fishes. In the wild, flamingos eat algae, crustaceans, brine shrimp, diatoms, and aquatic plants. At the zoo, a special “flamingo fare” is served. To preserve their rosy color at the zoo, flamingos are fed a commercially prepared diet high in carotenoids.
Lifespan: Young reach maturity at 3 to 5 years old. Baby flamingos are gray or white. They will turn pink within the first couple years of life. Flamingos live 20 to 30 years in the wild or up to 50 years in a zoo.
Crested screamer (Chauna torquata)
Range: The Crested Screamer (also known as the Southern Screamer) also known as the crested screamer, belongs to the order Anseriformes. It is found in southeastern Peru, northern Bolivia, Paraguay, southern Brazil, Uruguay and northern Argentina. Crested screamers are found around tropical lowland fresh water, such as lakes, ponds, rivers, marshes, and swamps. They often roost in trees and shrubs at the water's edge.
Description: The Southern Screamer may look ungainly at first glance, with its big body, disproportionately small head, and thick legs. But this large, gray marsh bird, closely related to geese and other waterfowl, is actually a strong swimmer and flier. They get their name from their extremely loud call used during courtship. Courtship involves loud calling by both sexes, which can be heard up to two miles away.
Diet: Crested screamers feed on a variety of vegetation, including grasses, stems, seeds, berries, and leaves of several different plants. They will also occasionally eat insects and small animals.
Lifespan: The Southern Screamers are endemic in South America. Their estimated lifespan is about 15 years in the wild, possibly will live an additional 3-5 years in captivity.