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fazenda barranco alto

The big five of the Pantanal

The Big Five term was used by African big-game hunters and later adopted by the local tourist industry. Recently it has been adapted to the Pantanal in Brazil. Here's our Big Five collection.

All pictures were taken during regular tourist outings and show from top left, clockwise:
  1. A South American tapir (Tapirus terrestris, anta) and a flock of whistling ducks.
  2. A yellow anaconda (Eunectes notaeus, sucuri) killing a blue-and-yellow macaw.
  3. A giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis, ariranha) eating fish.
  4. A giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla, tamanduá-bandeira) with a baby on it's back.
  5. A jaguar (Panthera onca, onça-pintada) stalking capybaras.


The lesser anteater (Tamandua tetradactyla, tamanduá-mirim) is not easy to find because it has rather arboreal and nocturnal habits, although we see them also at day and on the ground. They feed primarily on arboreal termite nests and defend themselves with their very strong and big fore claws.
In this picture you see a mother with a baby on her back.

This region of the Pantanal (Rio Negro) is one of the richest in parrot abundance. Flocks of these birds are everywhere and the gregarious macaws catch everyone´s attention. In this picture we see a mixed flock of red-and-green and hyacinth macaws that are together feeding on the dry acuri nuts (Attalea phalerata) found in ungulate´s droppings. Altogether there were 24 birds...

Sunbirds !

We´d like to share with you two very shy birds we sighted these days on the Rio Negro: the sunbittern (Eurypyga helias, pavãozinho-do-pará) and the sungrebe (Heliornis fulica, picaparra). Despite their names, both are not closer related but they share the same colors and a remarkable and exquisite beauty...

Sunbittern displaying its amazing wing-pattern.

A female sungrebe hiding under branches.