Night Visions in the Pantanal

February 08, 2012
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The flora and fauna of Brazil's Pantanal is enough to fill a day, but the most rare and unique sights may be seen at night.

On a night game drive during nature travel in the Northern Pantanal, travelers on a Pantanal tour may be able to spot elusive mammals such as tapirs and ocelots.

Tapirs are prehistoric mammals that resemble warthogs or pigs, but are actually more closely related to horses and rhinoceroses, according to National Geographic. These endangered animals have changed little over the tens of millions of years that they have roamed the earth, scientists believe. Their short, prehensile trunk is composed of its nose and upper lip and is used to grab branches and strip them of leaves or fruit during its morning and evening feeding periods. According to IUCN, these animals are more prone to be impacted by hunting because of their long gestation and generational times.

Ocelots are similar in size to other South American cats such as jaguars, but the patterns on their fur are distinctive. Although also a mixture of black and tan fur, the rosettes that can be seen on jaguar fur are not as uniform on the ocelot. They may be seen chasing rabbits, rodents, iguanas, fish and frogs, according to the news source.


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