Northern Tamandua Tamandua mexicana Photo by Jenn Sinasac The Northern Tamandua, also known as the Lesser Anteater or Vested Anteater, is a medium-sized anteater found in the tropical and subtropical forests of Central America and northwestern South America. This muscular mammal has a total length of up to 130 cm, and its long, muscular prehensile tail makes up half of its body length. It has a long snout and small eyes and ears. It has a robust, muscular body with thick, short arms and legs. It is pale yellow to grayish overall, with a distinct black vest, a feature that is often lacking in the Southern Tamandua of the Amazon Basin. Males and females are similar in size and color. The Northern Tamandua is specially adapted to its diet. Its long tongue extends from its small mouth for picking up ants, termites and bees. It has no teeth, but its oral cavity is modified to accommodate its very long tongue. It has reduced jaw muscles and mandible. The Northern Tamandua is both arboreal and terrestrial, spending up to 40% of its time on the ground. It has strong forefeet with big muscular pads and sharp thick claws and is well-adapted for climbing and grabbing. It is both diurnal and nocturnal, and time of activity is based on individual preference. It shuffles noisily along the ground or up in trees, and is often seen tearing dead wood and termite nests for food. It climbs trees and vines when disturbed but is usually fairly calm and allows close approach. When not foraging, it dens in hollow trees or logs, or holes in the ground. It may be found sleeping on a shaded tree branch during the day. Overall it is solitary and usually silent, but may wheeze or salivate when threatened. Its
Northern Tamandua Tamandua mexicana Photo by Jenn Sinasac The Northern Tamandua, also known as the Lesser Anteater or Vested Anteater, is a medium-sized anteater found in the tropical and subtropical forests of Central
Kinkajou Potos flavos A Kinkajou resting during the day, photo by Domiciano Alveo The Kinkajou is a medium-sized arboreal mammal of the lowland forests of Central and South America. It is 40-60 cm in length, and in addition to its body length, it has a long, prehensile tail the same length as its body. Its entire body and tail are covered with dense, golden hair. It has a round face with a short muzzle, large, wide-set eyes and small, rounded ears. It has short legs for climbing trees. Kinkajous are very similar in appearance to their closely-related cousin, the Bushy-tailed Olingo (Bassaricyon gabbii); however, olingos lack a prehensile tail—kinkajous are the only New World carnivore with this feature. Although it may look a little bear-like, the Kinkajou is actually a member of the raccoon family, Procyonidae. They are also known as the “honey bear”, because they often raid beehives. Even though they are technically carnivores, they are mostly frugivorous, preferring to feed on fruits including figs, palm fruits, mangos and passion fruits. To help them feed, they have a long tongue (20 cm in length) and dexterous front paws. They are common in Panama, but due to their nocturnal and arboreal behavior, they are seldom seen. However, they make noisy movements through the trees, occasionally in pairs or small groups, and are very vocal—they have a wide range of whistles, barks, grunts and screams and have earned the nickname “la llorona” in Spanish, meaning “crying woman”. Kinkajous are often encountered on our night drives at the Canopy Tower. Confused yet? They may look a little bear-like, or perhaps even monkey-like due to their arboreal behavior, and were even classified as lemurs for a while! Outside the Canopy Tower dining room window, photo by Doug Weschler
Kinkajou Potos flavos A Kinkajou resting during the day, photo by Domiciano Alveo The Kinkajou is a medium-sized arboreal mammal of the lowland forests of Central and South America. It is 40-60 cm in
Robinson's Mouse Opossum Marmosa robinsoni A truly interesting mammal! The Robinson’s Mouse Opossum is one of the Neotropics marsupials—a primitive group of mammals found in the Americas and Australia. It is relatively large for a mouse opossum, with a body length of 11-20 cm and a tail up to 21 cm, approximately the length of its body. Males are usually larger than females. It has cinnamon brown upperparts and creamy underparts. It has dark eye rings (a characteristic of most mouse opossums) that do not extend to the ear. It has large, unfurred ears and a prehensile tail covered in fine hairs, brown in color but appearing naked. The Robinson’s Mouse Opossum is both terrestrial and arboreal. It is found in forest, forest gaps, secondary growth and edge habitats. It can be found from lowlands up to 2600 meters in elevation, but usually occurs below 500 meters. It is nocturnal, solitary and nomadic, and forages and feeds on fruits, insects and small vertebrates. It nests in tree cavities, bird nest boxes or in abandoned bird nests. It makes a nest with leaves and grass. When not nesting, it rests during the day in any available shelter. Being a marsupial, Robinson’s Mouse Opossums have a short gestation period of only 14 days. The female gives birth to 6-15 tiny (only 12 mm at birth), underdeveloped young, which climb to the mother's mammae and remain there for several weeks. The Robinson’s Mouse Opossum does not have a pouch like some other marsupials. The young remain attached to the mammae for ~ 30 days, open their eyes at 39-40 days, and are completely weaned by 65 days of age. They reach maturity at about a year of age, and have a short lifespan of only about a year; it is uncertain if they
Robinson’s Mouse Opossum Marmosa robinsoni A truly interesting mammal! The Robinson’s Mouse Opossum is one of the Neotropics marsupials—a primitive group of mammals found in the Americas and Australia. It is relatively large
Rufous Tree Rat Diplomys labilis Photo by Jenn Sinasac The cute Rufous Tree Rat is a large species of spiny rat in the family Echimyidae, the Neotropical spiny rat family. It is known locally as “ratón espinoso”, meaning spiny rat, but despite this, this species lacks the spiny hairs on its back and rump of other members of the family; rather, it has thick, coarse hair covering its face, body and tail. It is also known as Rufous Soft-furred Spiny-Rat. It has reddish-brown hair, gray head and face, and short, broad ears. The furred tail is shorter than its head and body. The Rufous Tree Rat is found in evergreen and deciduous forests, mangroves, plantations and secondary growth forests. This arboreal rodent is found exclusively in trees, and has never been trapped on the ground. It is nocturnal, and at night moves slowly along tree branches, foraging individually or in pairs, often remaining motionless for extended periods of time, but can climb quickly if provoked. During the day, the Rufous Tree Rat roosts in tree cavities, alone or in pairs, and can occasionally be seen sticking its head out of the hole in view. Rufous Tree Rats are herbivores; they feed on fruits and young leaves. Breeding occurs year round; the female raises 1-2 pups per litter, and the young stay with the mother for up to a year until they reach maturity. The Rufous Tree Rat is found in Panama, Colombia and Ecuador, and has just recently been discovered in the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica (November 2015). Rufous Tree Rats are locally common in Panama, and can be found around all the Canopy Family lodges.
Rufous Tree Rat Diplomys labilis Photo by Jenn Sinasac The cute Rufous Tree Rat is a large species of spiny rat in the family Echimyidae, the Neotropical spiny rat family. It is known