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Latino Daily News

Wednesday May 1, 2013

Top Five Most Beautiful Mammals in the Amazon

Top Five Most Beautiful Mammals in the Amazon

Photo: Amazon Rainforest

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There are approximately 800 different species of mammals in the Amazon Rainforest that have been classified.  In an area spanning 2.124 million sq miles (5.5 million km²), there are bound to be more exotic creatures yet to be discovered.

The majority of the forest is located within Brazil, containing 60%, followed by Peru with 13%, Colombia with 10%, and with smaller amounts in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.

Below are 5 beautiful mammals who call Amazonia home.

Known as the dwarf leopard, the Ocelot can be found throughout South America.  Although once regarded as a “vulnerable” endangered species, they are not categorized as a “least concern” endangered species.  This mostly nocturnal and extremely territorial wild cat grows to be between 18 and 40 lbs.

Capuchin Monkey
Capuchins are considered the most intelligent New World monkeys.  They live in groups of 10 to 40 members.  Capuchins grow to a length of 30 to 56 cm (12–22 in), with tails that are just as long as the body.

Three-toed Sloth
This extremely slow-moving tree dweller resides in the Amazon.  Sloths cannot walk on all four limbs, so they rely on using their front arms and claws to drag themselves across the rain forest floor.  With a diet consisting of mostly buds, tender shoots, and leaves these mammals only grow to be the size of a small dog or large cat. 

Jaguar (Panthera Onca)
The jaguar is the biggest cat of the American continent but the population is rapidly decreasing outside of the Amazon region.  They are classified as near threatened.  The jaguar is well adapted to swimming, climbing, crawling, and sprinting.  Mayan and Inca civilizations regarded the jaguar as a divine creature.

Pink Amazon River Dolphin
These freshwater dolphins can be found throughout the Amazon and Orinoco Rivers.  They are able to turn their heads 180 degrees due to unfused neck vertebrae.  This flexibility allows them to easily navigate through the flooded forests.  In color, these dolphins can be either light gray or carnation pink.