Oops! It appears that you have disabled your Javascript. In order for you to see this page as it is meant to appear, we ask that you please re-enable your Javascript!
Yellow Spotted Amazon River Turtle

Yellow Spotted Amazon River Turtle

Yellow Spotted Amazon River Turtle (Podocnemis unifilis) DESCRIPTION:  Yellow Spotted Amazon River Turtles are named for the bright yellow spots seen on their heads which have a base color of olive green or brown.  The yellow spots are most prominent in young turtles. The spots fade to almost nothing in females as they age but males retain the bright spots. The top shell (carapace) is domed and has a raised ridge in the center called the keel. The bottom shell (plastron) is yellow and may have dark blotches. Yellow Spotted Amazon River Turtles are also called the Yellow Spotted Side-necked Turtles because while most turtles retract their head into their shells, side-necked turtles have longer necks and they turn their heads into their shells. This does, however, leave them partially exposed.  Female Yellow Spotted Amazon River Turtles are larger than males. Adult females grow up to 20 inches in length and 18 inches in width. Males grow up to 15 inches in the length and 13 inches in width. Females weigh up to 25 pounds and males up to 10 pounds. Yellow Spotted Amazon River Turtles are diurnal, meaning they are most active in mid-morning and afternoon. They have no need to hibernate in winter as they can withstand temperature fluctuations. RANGE:  Yellow Spotted Amazon River Turtles are found in the Amazon and Orinoco river systems in northern South America but when the rivers flood they will branch out to the flooded forests. HABITAT:  They live along the banks and in the waters of large, calm rivers and streams. They avoid fast-moving waters. DIET:  Omnivores – Eat vegetation and small...
Amazon Tree Boa

Amazon Tree Boa

Amazon Tree Boa (Corallus hortulanus) The Amazon Tree Boa is nonvenomous but very aggressive. They have long, needle-like teeth that can inflict a painful bite. They are one of the most colorfully diverse snake species Amazon Tree Boas are sometimes called Garden Tree Boas. DESCRIPTION:  Amazon Tree Boas have a very thin body and a large, triangular-shaped head with long, sharp teeth and large, bulging eyes. They can be found in a wide variety of colors and patterns. The base color varies from pale tan to black with tinges of yellow or red. Amazon Tree Boas are also marked with repeated blotches or bands of color. Their eyes can be yellowish, grayish, or reddish, and they have a reflective membrane that results in eyeshine at night. Their tongue is black. The Amazon Tree Boa can grow to between 5 feet and 7 feet in length. Males and females are similar in size. The average weight of an adult is between 1 and 3 pounds. A distinctive feature of the Amazon Tree Boa is small, claw-like remnants of vestigial hind limbs in the cloacal region. They are sensitive to vibrations, which is a location device they employ. They have excellent daytime eyesight. At night they have very large infrared pits near their lips that they use to detect heat signatures. They also have good chemoreception, which is mostly used for communication purposes. Amazon Tree Boas are ambush hunters. They sit on a branch with the front part of their body hanging in an S-shaped curve from the branch. Because of their long bodies they strike at prey a significant distance from...
Boa Constrictor

Boa Constrictor

Boa Constrictor (Boa constrictor) Description: Cryptic, broken patterns of brown and cream resembling leaf litter. Length varies depending on where Boas live. On Hog Island, off Central America, Boas seldom grow longer than 3 feet. In most of Central America, Boas reach 10 feet. And in Trinidad and Venezuela, they can grow to 20 feet. Habitat: Mostly rainforest but also can be found in semi-arid savanna. Range: Found in the rainforests of southern Central America and South America. Diet: Young boas dine on mice, small birds, lizards and frogs. Adults will eat monkeys, capybaras, agoutis, acouchis, caimans, and wild pigs. Life Span: 20 – 30 years. Family Life: Solitary except during mating season. Females retain eggs in their bodies and give birth to 20 to 60 live young, measuring 17 to 20 inches each. Status: Although protected throughout most of its range, many skins are still sold to the leather trade each year. Numbers are also dropping due to habitat destruction. Rainforest Building open daily from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm The Boa Constrictor cannot chase after prey. Instead it uses camouflage to lie in wait and grab unaware prey. It then wraps its tail around the prey and tightens its grip, or constricts, until the animal can no longer breathe. The Boa then swallows its prey whole, usually head first. It may take many days for the snake to digest its dinner. Boas are not venomous. When Boas are threatened they will hiss so loudly they can be heard 100 feet...
Red-Footed Tortoise

Red-Footed Tortoise

Red-Footed Tortoise (Geochelone carbonaria) Description: This tortoise grows to between 12 and 17 inches in length. Males are slightly larger than females and have longer, wider tails. The thick, heavy shell is part of the skeleton and is made up of about 60 bones covered by plates called scutes. The skin and carapace, or upper shell, is dark grayish-brown with lighter patches on the scutes. The plastron, or bottom shell, is a yellowish-brown, sometimes slightly red. Sexes can be distinguished by the shape of the plastron, which is concave in males and flat in females. Limbs, head and tail are dark grayish-brown. This type of tortoise has a much lighter appearance as a juvenile. Habitat: Commonly found in relatively dry grassland and forest areas, as well as the underbrush of tropical and humid forests. Range: Inhabit the Guianas, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay and several Caribbean Islands. Diet: Primarily herbivorous, consuming a wide variety of grasses, fallen fruits, flowers, leaves, and occasionally carrion. Life Span: 50 years. Family Life: Reach sexual maturity after 5 years. The mating ritual of the red-footed tortoise involves very distinctive head movements and clucking sounds by the male. The clucks sound amazingly like a hen, and can rise and fall in pitch. Females lay clutches of between 5-15 eggs, which are generally buried in a ground nest and incubated for 4 months. Usually 3 to 5 young will hatch. Females are not known to defend or guard their nests and show virtually no maternal instinct. Status: In its range, the biggest threat to the survival of the red-footed tortoise is overhunting by man. Low reproductive rates...
Yacare Caiman

Yacare Caiman

Yacare Caiman (Caiman yacare) Description: Although they superficially resemble American alligators, Yacare caiman are brownish, medium-sized caiman up to 10 feet in length with a more triangular snout and toothier profile than their American cousins. Habitat: Rivers, lakes and other wetlands, especially those with floating mats of vegetation. Range: Northern Argentina, southern Brazil, Southern Bolivia and Paraguay. Diet: Aquatic invertebrates (particularly snails), fish, snakes and other vertebrates. Life Span: Unknown but likely 50 years or more based upon life spans of related crocodilians. Family Life: During the rainy season (which varies with locality), adult females construct mound nests of rotting vegetation and mud. They lay 21 to 38 eggs in a chamber inside the mound. Females guard the nest for several weeks during incubation unless hunting pressure forces them to abandon the eggs. The caiman hatchlings are precocious, meaning they must fend for themselves and receive little or no parental care. Status: Generally stable and at low risk of endangerment, but many historical populations have been depleted. Rainforest Building open daily from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm South America’s Yacare Caiman are also known as Jacare caiman, Paraguayan caiman, Red caiman and Piranha caiman to name a few. Although these ancient and amazing creatures do eat piranha, they are sometimes called Piranha caiman because their lower teeth are easily visible like those of their pointy-toothed fish neighbors. While all crocodilians (alligators, crocodiles, caiman and gharials) eat fish, many species focus on certain prey species. Yacare caiman search mats of floating vegetation for aquatic snails, crack open the shells with their crushing jaws and dissolve the shell fragments with their powerful stomach...