Giant River Otter: Jeez!

“The giant otter or giant river otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) is a South American carnivorous mammal. It is the longest member of the weasel family, Mustelidae, a “globally successful” group of predators, reaching up to 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in). Jeez. Atypical of mustelids, the giant otter is a social species, with family groups typically supporting three to eight members. The groups are centered on a dominant breeding pair and are extremely cohesive and cooperative. Although generally peaceful, the species is territorial, and aggression has been observed between groups. The giant otter is diurnal, being active exclusively during daylight hours. It is the noisiest otter species, and distinct vocalizations have been documented that indicate alarm, aggression, and reassurance.” {per Wikipedia}{approx.}


A Well-Furred, Rotund Mammal: The Hyrax.

The Hyrax is a rather remarkable creature. To begin with, this rotund mammal pulls off the Fearsome/Cuddly daily double just as convincingly as the Tasmanian Devil, and the Tiger Quoll (See Large-ish Carnivorous Marsupials post). This is no mean feat. But when coupled with the fact that this Well-Furred fellow inhabits the same taxon family as the elephant (!) and, for god’s sake, the sea cow (!!)…one is left with little choice but to sit on the edge of a cliff, and contemplate…

Ants…and Antlions.

Yes, it’s all fun and whatnot for ants, until they cross paths with the Antlion. An extremely patient hunter, the antlion digs a spiralling hole, and waits. And waits. And Then: Whammo!

The French naturalist Jean-Henri Fabre wrote that “The Ant-lion makes a slanting funnel in the sand. Its victim, the Ant, slides down the slant and is then stoned, from the bottom of the funnel, by the hunter, who turns his neck into a catapult.”

The predatory actions of the larvae have attracted attention throughout history, and antlions have been mentioned in literature since classical times. {wikipedia}