Wild Caribbean: The Caribbean’s Most Unusual Animals

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April 22, 2014

11. Tayra (Trinidad)

Tayra (Eira barbara)

Thanks to a combination of its size and close proximity to the mainland, Trinidad has much greater biodiversity than most Caribbean islands. Notably, it is home to a wide variety of mammal species otherwise only found in South and Central America.ย Among these is the weasel-like tayra, a South American jungle dweller known locally in Trinidad as theย chien bois.ย Decisive and intuitive, mothers are known to delay the birth of their offspring until conditions are ideal. Though primarily predators, feeding on anything from rodents to bird eggs, they’ve also been observed storing unripe plantains until they are edible. They’re also playful, they’ve been kept as pets by indigenous people.