Tayra

TayraTayra — The Tayra (Eira barbara), also known as the Tolomuco or Perico ligero in Central America, is an omnivorous animal from the weasel family Mustelidae. It is the only species in the genus Eira. Tayras have an appearance similar to weasels and martens, growing to a size of about 60 cm, not including a 45 cm long tail. Most tayras have either dark brown or black fur with a lighter patch on its chest. The fur on its head changes to brown or gray as it ages. Tayras grow to weigh around 5 kilograms (11 pounds). The Tayra, unlike other Mustelidae, does not have embryonic diapause otherwise known as delayed implantation (this reproductive strategy in other mustelids delays embryonic development and allows the female to delay birth of offspring until environmental factors are favorable). The female gives birth to 2 to 4 altricial, black-coated young.

Tayras live in the tropical forests of Central America, South America and on the island of Trinidad. They eat mainly fruit, but also carrion, small mammals and birds. They live in hollow trees, burrows in the ground, or nests of tall grass. They travel both alone and in groups during both the day and the night. Tayras are expert climbers, and can leap from treetop to treetop when pursued. They can also run fast and swim well. Tayras will eat most anything, hunting rodents and invertebrates, and climbing trees to get eggs and honey. They are attracted to fruit and can be found raiding orchards.

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