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Tayra - Eira barbara
Tayra and howler monkey 

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Interspecific interaction and predator avoidance behavior in response to Tayra (Eira barbara) by mantled howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata).

The interaction of the howlers with the tayras occurred between 14:30 and 14:32 on October 
25, 1998, during an afternoon feeding period. The monkeys were eating ripe fruit from a large fig tree Ficus trigonata (Moraceae) 25 m in height. We observed a group of four tayras at a distance of 30 m from the monkey group. They were moving around the monkeys, climbing, and descending trees constantly. The tayras displayed a species-typical aggressive behavior which includes moving their bodies up and down in a stance and making grunting vocalizations that are synchronized with this motor pattern. The howler monkeys immediately stopped feeding. 
The oldest male monkey made a faltering vocalization, whilst continuing to stay with the other 
male and the infants in the central part of the fig tree. Subsequently, the two adult female monkeys silently approached the tayra group, without apparent threat. They entered a tree closer to the tayras, constantly observing them. As a consequence, the tayras retreated to another tree, further away from the females and the howler group and continued their aggressive postural displays and vocalizations. The female howlers moved closer to the tree, which had been occupied by the tayras. This sequence of retreats by the tayras and subsequent following by the two howlers occurred three times until the tayra group disappeared into the jungle. The female howlers then returned to the fig tree and the group resumed feeding, following their normal pattern of activity.
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  • Claudiu Constantin Nicolaescu
Morphology of the Stomach of Tayra (Eira barbara)

The Tayra (Eira barbara) is a mammal of the family Mustelidae with a significant presence in Latin America, it is considered an opportunist and extremely agile omnivorous. Some organs compose the digestive system and the stomach is a substantial organ for this system. The stomach have a small and a large curvature and the regions of the cardia, fundus, body and pylorus. Histologically, the stomach is made up of four layers or tunics that contributes in digestive functions. However, due the limited information available in the literature about morphophysiology of wildlife, this study aimed to clarify the morphology of Eira barbara stomach to understand your digestive system.Materials, Methods & Results: Three males and three females of Eira barbara species were studied (all young adults), all samples were originated of the Bauxite Mine area, in Paragominas, Pará state, Brazil provided of donation to Morphological Animal Research Laboratory (LaPMa) of the Universidade Federal Rural da Amazonia (UFRA), after death by trampling. The corpses were treated with aqueous 10% formaldehyde solution intramuscular injections, subcutaneous and intracavitary. After dissection, the collected material was processed following histologic standard protocols for the subsequent preparation of slides. The studied animals showed the stomach on the left antimere the abdominal cavity, with saccular format with the presence of large and small curvatures. The organ showed composite mucosa made with various gastric folds distributed in regions of the cardia, fundus and pylorus. A microscopic analysis of Eira barbara stomach revealed the presence of tunics or layers which gradually invaginate the lumen of the organ and underlying lamina propria was located to the prismatic epithelium and muscular mucosae and mucosa itself. In the region of the cardia, the muscle layer was deeply situated on the lamina propria, consisting of smooth muscle tissue with circular and longitudinal fibers. The submucosa consists of loose connective tissue; it is much thicker than the lamina propria and has many vessels. The first portion of the stomach showed long glands, while with short pits. In light microscopy, the fundic region revealed the presence of a highly pleated epithelium with elongated glands composed of clear and basally placed cells, with flattened nuclei. These cells are named mucous. Along the short region of the gastric pits, the presence of large cells was reported, pyramidal or rounded, central nucleus, called parietal. The pyloric region microscopy revealed the presence of short glands, similar to those previously described in the cardia region. The wide presence of goblet cells in the final portion of the pylorus indicated gradual transition between the regions of the stomach to the intestine, called duodenum-pylorus transition. The muscular layer showed thick muscle bundles just in circular direction, being responsible for the formation of the pyloric sphincter.Discussion: The morphological analysis of the stomachs showed morphological and topographical similarities to the literature description for pets and wild mammals, however, were found in abundant quantities goblet cells in the transition duodenal pylorus. The goblet cells are located throughout the length of the small and large intestine and are responsible for the production and maintenance of the protective mucus synthesizing as glycoproteins known as mucins.
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  • Claudiu Constantin Nicolaescu
Integrating locomotion, postures and morphology: the case of the tayra, Eira barbara (Carnivora, Mustelidae).

Locomotion and postures are key factors to understanding the biology of animals. However, scansorial
and arboreal carnivorans remain poorly studied regarding these issues. Herein, we present a behavioral and morphological analysis of the arboreal locomotion of the tayra (Eira barbara), a neotropical
forest-dwelling mustelid. Data on habitat use and locomotor and postural modes were collected from
free-ranging tayras in a terra-firme forest in French Guiana. Additionally, qualitative morphological traits
and linear measurements of the girdles and appendicular skeleton were analyzed through comparative anatomical descriptions, univariate tests, and a principal components and discriminant analysis.Tayras frequently used clambering, quadrupedal walking, claw climbing and quadrupedal standing, performed primarily on small and medium, oblique and horizontal branches. Furthermore, our morpho-functional analyses revealed that tayras possess autopodial specializations for navigating on arborealsubstrates, while the more proximal elements present features more similar to other terrestrial or scansorial mustelids, and theoretically less modified from the hypothetical weasel-like ancestor of mustelids.This mosaic of morphological features of the tayra, a combination of phylogenetic inertia and ecological signals, very likely evolved to promote the efficient and effective exploitation of diverse habitats and resources in this versatile species.

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Positional modes of Guianan tayras: (a) quadrupedal walk, (b) clamber; © quadrupedal stance (drawings from 35 mm photographs).

Links between morphology and behavior constitute an essential toolforunderstanding the biological roles andadaptive significance of morphological complexes that can ultimately contribute to the elucidation of evolutionary processes. In the present report, we
attempted to associate a morphometric and qualitative functional anatomical analysis with a preliminary quantitative description of the locomotion and postures and limb movements of a scansorial mustelid carnivoran, the tayra Eira barbara. Although tayras basically travel terrestrially by walking or galloping, they also display a quite diversified positional repertoire in the trees. In effect, our preliminary quantitativefield observations of wild tayras revealed frequent quadrupedal standing, clambering, and walking, and critical vertical clawed climbing. These modes comprise limb movements that are slightly differentin the degree of arm and thigh abduction, elbow and knee flexion, but differ largely in the degree of intrinsic mobility of the plantigrade fore- and hind feet.
The morphological and behavioral analysis of Eira barbara revealed traits that can be interpreted as a mixture of both phylogenetic inertia and functional/ecological signals. The species is
considered to have derived froma terrestrial, half-bounder, weasel-like ancestral lineage (Gambaryan, 1974; Wayne et al., 1989) and it mainly travels terrestrially over long daily ranges (Kaufmann
and Kaufmann, 1965; Brosset, 1968; Presley, 2000). In this way, many behavioral and morphologicaltraits related to the girdles and long bones seem to be functionally linked to these modes related
to terrestriality, and are less modified for arboreal climbing than other non-mustelid climbers. However, major modifications, from a hypothetical ancestral weasel-like body plan, associated with ample range of movements and related osteo-muscular morphol-
ogy seem to have occurred on the distal appendicular elements, as adaptations to the direct interaction with the multidirectional and complex arboreal substrates. These combinations oftraits, although partially opposing to an arboreal specialized carnivoran model,
related to controlled and slow movements (typically present in many herbivore and omnivore climbing carnivorans), seem to provide the necessary agility for rapid explorations, chases and escapes among terrestrial and a wide range of arboreal substrates. This generalized outline provides tayras with the necessary morphobehavioral versatility for an efficient and effective exploitation of diverse habitats and multiple resources that have very likely contributed to the wide range of the species across Central and South American forests.

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  • Claudiu Constantin Nicolaescu
Food habits tayra (Eira barbara) in Sao Paulo-Brasil.

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The location of the feces identified as tayra, collected in Angatuba (SP), between 2008 and 2010. The red dots represent feces confirmed by hair microscopy and the black dots represent the feces identified only by the morphology.

10 feces were identified as belonging to the tayra (eight confirmed by microscopy of hairs), with a diameter between 12.7 mm and 25.8 mm. In them, there were 31 occurrences of 20 food items, 70% of animal origin and 30% of plant origin.
The percentages of occurrence relative to the consumed items show that the most representative foods in the diet are insects (23.33%); rodents and Cynodon dactylon (19.35%); fruits (16.13%); birds (6.67%) and, finally and equally, fish, eggs, crustaceans, myriapoda and spiders (3.23%).
The frequencies of each food group are similar to their occurrence percentages. The groups with the highest biomass consumed were, in decreasing order: fruits, rodents, birds and eggs, fish and crustaceans, insects, myriapoda and spiders.
The items consumed by the tayra and identified more specifically were: fruits Syagrus sp., Solanum lycocarpum, Annona crassiflora and Annona squamosa; insects (beetles, ants and crickets) and rodents (Olygoryzomys sp., Akodon sp., Calomys sp.).
Most of the feces of the species were found near native vegetation where bodies of water also occur. However, a scat sample from tayra was collected in the middle of the silvicultural matrix.

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Percentage of occurrence of each food item in the identified faeces of tayra in Angatuba (SP), in the period from 2008 to 2010.

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Frequency of occurrence (FRO) and biomass of each food item in the faeces identified from tayra in Angatuba (SP), in the period from 2008 to 2010.
[-] The following 1 user Likes Shenzi's post:
  • Claudiu Constantin Nicolaescu

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