Common Name: Tayra

Type: Mammal

Family: Mustelidae

Range: Tayra is a solitary mammal who prefers to live in the green forest, but live in dry forests also; they survive below elevations of 1,200 minimum. They live hollow trees, burrows or logs built by other animals. It can be found in the tropical forests from southern part of Mexico through South America to northern Argentina including Costa Rica.

Size: Their body is measuring about 60–68 centimeter (24–27 inches) and is covered with smooth dark fur. They have a bushy tail that is 39–47 centimeter (15–18.5 inches) long.

Weight: The Tayra has short-legged, but they are slender and agile and weighing from 2.7 to 7 kilograms (5.95 to 15.4 pounds).

Diet : Although Tayra’s are classified as carnivores but they are omnivore, they feed spiny rats, mice, squirrels, tamarins, agoutis, and several other mammals. They also eat fruit, invertebrates, insects, reptiles and honeycomb.

Average life span: The average lifespan Tayra is about 18 years in captivity

Habitat: They usually make their habitat In dense woodlands in the Central and South America. They are available in several national parks of Costa Rica including Santa Rosa National Park, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Corcovado National Park, San Vito, and La Selva.

Breeding/Reproduction: After a gestation period of 63 – 70 days, Tayra give birth to a litter of 2 – 3 young. They are nursed for 2 – 3 months.
We have less knowledge about the tayra’s breeding and reproduction. However, there is thought that have a gestation period that lasts for around 63 to 70 days, Tayra give birth to a litter size of 2 to 3 babies in every season, they weighing about 74 to 92 grams and they are nursed about 2-3 months. Some think that that the mating cycle is seasonal and births taking place in March and July. Others have a believe that the tayra’s have monthly mating periods and they are a non-seasonal breeder.

The Tayra, also known as the tolomuco or perico ligero in Central America. They can be seen in the forests of Costa Rica. They usually live in evergreen forests but have the ability to live in dried up forests as well. They are mostly found in the mountains of Costa Rica. Tayra has 10-24 square meters of house range and daily travel 3-7 km in their range. Common names: Tolomuco, gato de monte or churumuco. They are often referred as “cabeza de viejo” which means “old man’s head”. Tayra sometimes hunts in groups of 20. They can swim well and can climb the trees as well. It is active in the daytime as well as at night.

Tayra has a black colored body with a lighter patch on chest. They have strong claws for the purpose of climbing. The tail is fully covered with hair and no other part of their body have this much hair on it. They have strong teeth. They have short legs but a long neck. Tayra has a limited eye site. They behave like snakes while determining scents.

They have a weight of 5kg this means that they are not very heavy and are light in weight. They are 60-68 cm long and also have a tail which is 38-47 cm long and have a slim physique.

The Tayra females give birth to 3-4 offspring at a time and it can delay the birth if the circumstances are not good for giving birth to them. They have a three and a half month gestation period. New born babies open their eyes after 35-58 days. Parents take proper care of their young ones until they are grown up.

Tayra have the qualities of swimming, climbing and running faster. These qualities make them able to survive when attacked by predators. Human and dogs are included in the list of their predators.

Most of the times they eat fruits but sometimes also feed on small insects. They love vegetarian food more than flesh and protein.

They do not make homes themselves, rather they live in nature made places such as the holes found in some trees. Tayra living in Costa Rica has an interesting behavior that it picks up unripe green plantains which cannot be eaten and put them in a cage and after a few days come back when they have been ripen and eat the soft pulp. They are unique as no other animal saves inevitable food; other animals always collect the food which they can eat.

They are quite playful and many people keep them as pets in their homes. Tayra loves to be accompanied by people and people also love to play with them. Many people love them but it should be kept in mind they are wild animals and can bite.
They have wrinkled facial skin. They produce loud voices when they talk to each other. They are not very important for human beings and for the ecosystem. Tayra is not considered an endangered species. They can still be found in great numbers on Costa Rican trees, on the ground and even in the houses of the people as pets.
The Tayra belongs the weasel family (Mustelidae), that also includes otters, skunks, and minks.

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