We had seen pink dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) in the Rio Negro before, but some weeks ago we went on a trip specifically to see dolphins. It was great, they would just swim around us. Yes, they were looking for the fish, but they were free to come and go. It was a very nice experience to see them so close.
As we went into the forest last week, we stopped a couple of times to photograph trees and flowers. In one spot, we saw tracks on the road. I think they were from a jaguar, but it could also have been a mountain lion. A big cat for sure! Very exciting. My husband saw a black jaguar crossing the road near that spot a few months ago.
Amazon or South American manatee (Trichechus inunguis) is commonly hunted for meat and oil along the Amazon River. I don’t know how people manage to find them, but they do, and it is common that little ones are left without their mothers. They also get hurt by the boats. There are programs to help manatee populations recover and to reintroduce them in some areas with support of the local people. Researchers at INPA are also working on this. This photograph was taken at the Bosque da Ciencia where some manatees are brought in for recovery.
Last year, on my birthday, I went on a boat trip on the Amazon. We made a stop at a floating restaurant, and nearby we saw a group of brown pale-fronted capuchins (Cebus albifrons (Humboldt, 1812)).
Since I’ve moved to the tropics, I’ve learned that there are two-toed sloths and three-toed sloths. I just recently found out that they each belong to a separate family, Megalonychidae (two-toed sloths) and Bradypodidae (three-toed sloths) and they are not closely related.
Sloths are arboreal mammals, the live up in the trees and their limbs are adpated to hang from trunks and branches where they sleep or rest for about 20 hours a day. I find it very interesting that they have to go down from the trees to poo about once a week. It’s also quite interesting that they have algae living on their fur.
There are four species within Bradypus, two of which can be found in this area, Bradypus tridactylus (pale-throated sloth) and Bradypus variegatus (brown-throated sloth). The pale-throated sloth (Bradypus tridactylus) has a more resticted range east of the Andes and south of the Orinoco River, occuring in the Guyana Shield region including northern Brazil south to the Rio Negro-Rio Solimoes region (where Manaus is located). The brown-throated sloth (Bradypus variegatus), on the other hand, can be found all the way from Honduras to northern Argentina.
A week ago, we went for a walk at Bosque da Ciencia, and we saw a sloth eating young leaves up on a tree. I’m still not sure which species we saw, the pale-throated sloth or the brown-thrated sloth. Can you help me identify it?