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Mammals - South American Mammals
Salvador Dali had a pet ocelot. What was its name?

Mammals - South American Mammals

For most of the past 65 million years, South America was an 'island continent' having no land connections with any other major landmasses. Because South America was geographically isolated during the period of time when today's major mammal groups were evolving on other continents, the mammals that were living in South America evolved in their own unique directions.

See how much you know about South American mammals in the following picture quiz.

To see a larger image, click on the picture.
1.
Salvador Dali had a pet ocelot. What was its name?
Photograph courtesy of http://digitalmedia.fws.gov/
Booboo
Baby
Babou
Bibby
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Felidae
  • Genus: Leopardus
  • Species: L. pardalis
  • A small wild cat.
  • Mainly nocturnal and fiercely territorial.
  • Inhabits places that have thick vegetation cover.
  • Has been kept as a pet.
2.
Can you identify this South American mammal?
Photograph courtesy of Tomfriedel
Speckled bear
White-face bear
Black bear
Spectacled bear
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Ursidae
  • Genus: Tremarctos
  • Species: T. ornatus
  • The only surviving species of bear native to South America.
  • They are non-territorial and will react cautiously if encountered by humans.
  • In traditional Chinese medicine, this bear's gall bladder is highly valued.
3.
Can you identify this South American mammal?
Photograph courtesy of Malene Thyssen
Giant Armadillo
Silky Anteater
Southern Tamandua
Giant Anteater
  • Order: Pilosa
  • Family: Myrmecophagidae
  • Genus: Myrmecophaga
  • Species: M. tridactyla
  • A solitary creature that has no teeth.
  • Their average body temperature of 32.7oC is one of the lowest of all land-living mammals.
  • Although it can swim, it stays mostly on dry land.
4.
Can you identify this South American mammal?
Photograph courtesy of Dario Sanches
Common Marmoset
Emperor Tamarin
Black Howler Monkey
Buffy Saki
  • Order: Primates
  • Family: Callitrichidae
  • Genus: Callithrix
  • Species: C. jacchus
  • Native to Brazil.
  • A small animal - the average height for a male is 188 mm (7.4 in).
  • They can cling vertically to a tree, run across branches quadrupedally and leap between trees.
5.
What is a Brown-throated Three-toed sloth's natural environment?
Photograph courtesy of Christian Mehlführer
Prairie
Jungle
Savanna
Woodland
  • Order: Pilosa
  • Family: Bradypodidae
  • Genus: Bradypus
  • Species: B. variegatus
  • Has no incisor or canine teeth.
  • In addition, this animal has no gall bladder or appendix.
  • Most of its life is spent in the high branches of trees.
  • It spends up to 18 hours a day asleep.
6.
Can you identify this South American mammal?
Photograph courtesy of www.flickr.com/photos/verzo/
Agouti
Guinea pig
Chinchilla
Capybara
  • Order: Rodentia
  • Family: Caviidae
  • Genus: Hydrochoerus
  • Species: H. hydrochaeris
  • It is the largest living rodent in the world.
  • Its common name means 'master of the grasses'.
  • A semi-aquatic mammal found wild in most of South America.
7.
What is the collective name for a group of porcupines?
Photograph courtesy of Dave Pape
Arrow
Spike
Curling
Prickle
  • Order: Rodentia
  • Family: Erethizontidae
  • Genus: Coendou
  • Species: C. prehensilis
  • Porcupine means 'one who rises up in anger'.
  • They are expert climbers.
  • Nocturnal and mostly solitary.
  • The tail and face have no quills.
  • Will stamp their hind feet when excited.
8.
Can you identify this South American mammal?
Photograph courtesy of http://ragesoss.com/blog/
Maned Wolf
Hoary Fox
Bush Dog
Gray Fox
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Canidae
  • Genus: Chrysocyon
  • Species: C. brachyurus
  • Has been called a 'red fox on stilts'.
  • Its urine has a distinctive smell which has been likened to cannabis.
  • Hunts alone and doesn't form packs.
  • A shy animal that will run away if alarmed.
9.
What is the name for a baby llama?
Photograph courtesy of www.flickr.com/photos/jpodlech/
Kid
Cria
Bambino
Llamaby
  • Order: Artiodactyla
  • Family: Camelidae
  • Genus: Lama
  • Species: L. glama
  • Has a uniquely adapted foot that allows them to travel a variety of terrain.
  • The foot is two-toed with a leathery pad on the bottom and curved nails.
  • Communication is through a humming noise.
10.
Can you identify this South American mammal?
Photograph courtesy of Bjørn Christian Tørrissen
Baird's Tapir
Mountain Tapir
South American Tapir
Malayan Tapir
  • Order: Perissodactyla
  • Family: Tapiridae
  • Genus: Tapirus
  • Species: T. bairdii
  • A group of this animal is called a 'candle'.
  • Babies are born with a dappled pattern on their skin.
  • Closest living relatives are horses and rhinos.
  • Habitat is forests and grasslands.

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