Wild Fact #332 – An Aging Weasel – Tayra
Today’s animal is brought to you by Central America. Yes, this naturally diverse area has produced an animal commonly known as the Tayra. Although, throughout much of Central America this member of the Mustelidae (weasel) family is referred to as the Tolomuco or the Perico ligero. Just to make things even more confusing the folks on the Yucatan Peninsula refer to this beautiful creature as the San Hol or Viejo de Monte. Personally this last name is my favourite as it just rolls off your tongue. Go ahead and say it again…. Viejo de Monte…..fun, isn’t it?
A Mid-Life Crisis
It doesn’t come as a surprise to learn that the Tayra is a member of the weasel family as their appearance is definitely similar to other members such as otters, badgers and of course, weasels. They typically have a dark brown body with a lighter coloured head and a nice bushy tail to make them all the more appealing. This light coloured head of theirs actually turns greyish as these Mustelids age. Don’t worry though, I am sure they are able to get their hands on a bottle of “Just for Men” to hide those aging signs.
The Viejo de Monte is known to be a solitary animal that has enough physical abilities to compete in the Olympics. That’s right, not only are these animals excellent climbers but they can also leap from tree to tree. Similarly, they are capable of running or swimming at quick paces, if required. Although, this particular weasel species has all of these amazing qualities, their population is still on the decline as a result of habitat destruction. For the most part, the species as a whole is listed as “least concern”, however, their population is shrinking with one sub-species already listed as vulnerable. I would imagine that if things don’t change soon, we will be seeing a major decline the the Tayra population.
Tayra Fast Fact
Unlike other members of the weasel family, the Tayra does not use delayed implantation as a reproductive strategy. Typically, weasels will delay the implantation of their fertilized egg until the environmental factors (food, weather, etc) are perfect for having a little baby. The Tayra prefers to do this the old fashioned way though and will deliver 2-3 young roughly 63-70 days after mating. I guess she just wants to get the pregnancy out of the way as quick as possible…no sense delaying the birth of your child, right?