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Wildlife in Brazil: These Exotic Animals Can Be Discovered

April 19, 2020
Flying macaws in Brazil.

Experiencing animals in the wild is like visiting a zoo, only much better. Not every day are you lucky enough to see exotic animals in their natural environment. On a trip to Brazil, you get the chance to discover the country's diverse animal world, in addition to many dream beaches and lots of cultures.

Dangerous, Beautiful, Unique: Brazil's Mammals

Brazil is huge and offers the right environment for many species of animals, including about 500 mammal species. Water possums are relaxed because they sleep most of the day. They are marsupials but live exclusively in water. That's what makes them so unique. You can see how well they have adapted to life in the water by their webbed feet, frog-like fingers and water-repellent fur. Be sure to keep your eyes open during your trip to the river. You might see a few.

Capybaras look like oversized guinea pigs. But they are not pigs at all, they are rodents. With a size of about 4 feet (1.2 meters), they are the biggest rodents in the world. You can spot them frequently during your trip, of course always near water at rivers or lakes. Chances are particularly good in the middle of the swampland of the Pantanal.

More difficult to find are the lowland tapirs, inhabiting the forest in the Amazon Basin. You can recognize them by their trunk-like nose. They look a bit like pigs with slightly longer legs. But actually, they are related to the rhino and the horse. The exciting thing about tapirs is that their ancestors walked through the primeval forests about 40 million years ago.

The rainforest has more exotic animals to offer than any other place in the world. You can watch a big anteater, for example, strike up to 160 times per minute with his long tongue to collect his delicious snacks. Ants and termites stick to his glue-like saliva.

Not quite as simple is the subject of food for his relatives, the sloths. That we call these animals lazy is actually not fair at all. They live their lives in slow motion for a good reason. Sloths are vegetarians and feed on leaves, buds and twigs. But due to heavy rainfall, the jungle is poor in nutrients. So nature has come up with something for the sloths. Thanks to their slow metabolism, they stay full of food longer. That's why they move so little. They are simply always in economy mode because this is the only way they can survive in the jungle. Very clever. Look up more often when you visit the rainforest. Maybe you will spot some sloths hanging in the branches.

You are probably less relaxed at the sight of a jaguar. The largest jaguar population in the world lives in the Amazon Basin. But you won't encounter them simply by walking through the jungle. If you're brave and want to see some, it’s best to take a tour with an experienced guide. If you're lucky enough to see a jaguar, it'll certainly be an absolute highlight of your trip. The dotted pattern of its fur is a trend for clothing in Brazil. But nobody wears it as beautifully as the Jaguar itself.

Last but not least are the country's climbing experts, whom you are sure to encounter on your trip. You don't have to travel to the depths of the Amazon to spot them. A walk through a national park in Rio de Janeiro, for example, is enough. Capuchin monkeys, night monkeys, spider monkeys, woolly monkeys... Brazil is home to many different species. You won’t always discover them in the trees, but you'll certainly hear them.

Great Expanses Instead of Domestic Terrarium: Reptiles in Brazil

Reptiles are now popular pets. If you like iguanas or snakes, you'll find them in the terrarium in the living room. But the variety of exotic animals living on the banks of the Amazon is huge. Black caimans, with a length of about 19 feet (6 meters), are among the largest crocodiles and predators in South America—way too big and dangerous for a terrarium. They mainly hunt fish, mammals and other reptiles. It is best to observe them at a safe distance.

Brazil is also home to countless species of snakes. Some of them are harmless and would definitely be suitable for our terrariums at home. But, two species in particular would not be among them: the anaconda and the red-tailed boa, also known as boa constrictor. They are fascinating with their beautiful colors and impressive size. But they can also be quite scary. Both species are not poisonous but they use their size to wrap themselves around other reptiles, small mammals and birds and squeeze the life out of them. The anaconda is the largest snake species in the world with a length of up to 33 feet (10 meters).

Under the Sea: Typical Sea Dwellers

Below the water surface there is also a lot going on. Brazil's coast is immensely long and large rivers run through the country. In the Amazon alone there are more than 1,500 different species of fish. Among the most famous are probably the piranhas. Many people associate these small fish with horror stories about allegedly bitten off fingers. The piranhas do have sharp teeth. But they are far from being the killer fish some people think they are. In stressful situations they will defend themselves and their territory; but otherwise they're quite fearful. They also play an important role in the ecosystem. If they didn't eat dead animals, the water would become contaminated.
Another natural treasure are the pink river dolphins. These animals are curious, friendly and usually do not shy away from contact with humans. In the past, it was possible to swim with the dolphins. But for the protection of biodiversity, this is no longer allowed today. You can get close to them from the shore and feed them if an authorized guide is present.

In the saltwater of the Atlantic many sea dwellers scrimmage. If you still haven't had enough of dolphins, with a bit of luck you can encounter spinner dolphins off the coast of Fernando de Noronha. They're the most skillful dolphins in the world. They can revolve around their own axis up to seven times when jumping out of the water. The best time to watch the dolphins is in the late afternoon or evening after the animals have rested during the day.
Rays, moray eels, turtles and barracudas also feel comfortable in the sea and are just waiting to be discovered. While snorkeling you can discover beautiful corals and colorful reef fish. Be sure to take your underwater camera with you. If you want to see the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, you can do so without a license on the Batismo dives.

Unique and Colorful: Brazil's Birdlife

Unique birds can be discovered in the mountains, on the water, in the jungle and in the cities. But sometimes you have to take a closer look. The hummingbird is the smallest warm-blooded animal in the world. It hardly weighs anything and flaps its wings incredibly fast. This is why we can't even see it in flight sometimes. It can achieve up to 80 wing beats per second. For our human eye, this is simply too many. It feeds mainly on flower nectar, which it can easily consume with its delicate, long beak. If you look at the right moment, you can spot one briefly and take a souvenir photo.

There are also beautiful spots of color in the woods. The toucan in particular stands out. Its large beak is an intense orange. Parrots can also be discovered here time and again. Unfortunately, the hyacinth macaw has become rather rare; but if you're lucky, you'll spot one. It can grow up to 3 feet (1 meter) and with its intense blue color it looks as if someone has painted it. If you want to have a look at rare bird species like macaws, roseate spoonbills, soldier birds and ibis, your best bet would be the Pantanal.

We know that it is much easier to organize a visit to the zoo than a trip to Brazil. But that is what we are here for. Leave it up to us to organize your next wildlife adventure together with Aventura do Brasil and give you a glimpse into the beautiful animal world of Brazil.

Sources: www.abenteuer-regenwald.de, www.brasiloo.de, www.the-worldtraveler.com, www.wwf.org

Source: Aventura do Brasil