June 5, 2017

Forest Mammal Grab-Bag

The forest is home to many small mammals, some of which are very cautious and rare while others are quite inquisitive and common. White-nosed coatis were a common sighting across the country and always a delight. These relatives of the raccoon often occur in large social groups of females and young, while adult males tend to be solitary. They are quite bold around people and climb trees on occasion, which helps make them easier to photograph.
 Central American Agoutis are one of 11 members of a family of large guinea pig-like rodents about the size of a rabbit. They are fairly common sights and frequently grazed on hotel grounds but are shy and easily startled, but when just the pair of us were out on walks we could get quite close. We have seen them in Mexico as well, and they have a fairly extensive range throughout the Caribbean and South America.
 We also saw a single Collared Peccary at La Selva. Everyone was very preoccupied chatting or watching some Motmots, and Kathryn had to practically shout at people to get their attention to see it as it snuck by in the background. While pig-like in appearance, they are apparently fairly distant relatives and easily differentiated by their downward tusks and scent glands.

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