Tag Archive: Amazon

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Boida (Boas)

Genus/species: Eunectes murinus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS:  Gigantic, heavy-bodied, dark green boa with dark spots. A distinctive stripe runs from the rear edge of the eye, diagonally downwards to the back of the head. The stripe is edged with black and varies in coloration, from greenish to orange. Eyes and nasal openings are on top of their heads, allowing them to lay in wait for prey while remaining nearly completely submerged. The female dwarfs the male and is almost five times heavier.
Like all snakes, anaconda have a forked tongue they helps them locate prey and mates and to navigate their environment, in conjunction with the tubular Jacobson’s organ in the roof of the snake’s mouth.

SIZE: Up to more than 29 feet (8.8 meters), weigh more than 227 kilograms (550 pounds) and measure more than 30 cm (12 in) (30 centimeters) in diameter.

Anaconda 8629891977_66e2cd6195_b

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT South America: Amazon and Orinoco drainages from Colombia and Venezuela to East Bolivia and Central Brazil. Associated strongly with watercourses, swamps and other freshwater locations.

DIET IN THE WILD: They feed on any prey that they can kill and swallow including monkeys, deer, peccaries, pacus, agoutis, birds, fish, caiman and turtles. Prey usually killed by constriction; prey suffocates and often drowning in water. Usually feed in water. Jaws attached by stretchy ligaments allow them to swallow their prey whole, no matter the size, and they can go weeks or months without food after a big meal. Primarily a lie-in-wait predator.

Academy Diet: Frozen/thawed rabbits (P. Dwight Biologist).


REPRODUCTION: Green anacondas are ovoviviparous (eggs hatch in the mother and snakes are born alive). They are polyandrous breeding with multiple-male aggregations of up to 13 males. Female anacondas retain their eggs and give birth to two to three dozen live young. Baby snakes are about 0.6 meters (2 ft). After mating, the female may eat one or more of her mating partners, as she does not take in food for up to seven months after birth.

PREDATORS:Caimen. Jaguars, and green anacondas.

MORTALITY/LONGEVITY: Lives to over 29 years.

REMARKS: The anaconda is, pound for pound, the largest snake in the world. The reticulated python, can reach slightly greater lengths, but the enormous girth of the anaconda makes it almost twice as heavy. Can remained submerged for a very long time lying in wait for its next meal.

Some indigenous peoples of Brazil and Peru use green anacondas body parts for magical and spiritual properties, in ritualistic purposes.

Green anacondas are among the only snakes that can reach the proportions necessary to possibly kill and consume a human being. However, attacks by green anacondas are rare due to low.

The California Academy of Sciences specimen is a female. Length/wt 2013: 13 ft 11 inches long and weight 92 lbs.
2008 she was 3m (10 feet) long and weighed 90 lbs.


Color of Life Note: The dark brownish-green Anaconda demonstrates concealment by laying hidden in the murky waters of the Amazon. It is more visible at the California Academy of Sciences exhibit water which is markedly more transparent.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Flooded Amazon Anaconda Exhibit 2018

U. of Michigan Animal diversity Web https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Eunectes_murinus/#D1CC06F0-924A-11E1-9D4D-002500F14F28

Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/pages/794661/overview

Ron’sWordpress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-bt

Ron’s flickr   http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608449603666/with/3636385495/

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Siluriformes (Catfish)
Family: Callichthyidae (Callichthyid armored catfishes)

Genus/species: Corydorcas sp.

 Orange Neon Corydoras 3703717946_731674ba1e_b


HABITAT: Fresh water bottom dweller.

DIET IN THE WILD: invertebrates, detritis

REMARKS: All Corys are facultative air breathers, gulping air in oxygen-poor waters absorbing it through its highly vascularized intestine.




California Academy of Sciences, Flooded Rainforest, Cardinal Tetra Exhibit 2018

Ron’s flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157625825649576/with/3703717946/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-18H


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class Actinopterygii, (ray-finned fishes)
Order Characiformes (Characins)
Family Characidae (Characins)

Genus/species: Ctenobrycon spilurus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS:  The Silver Tetra has large eyes (for murky water), and is deep bodied, laterally compressed, disc shaped, silvery color with black spot on caudal peduncle. There is a variable amount of red in the fins under the fish.

Length 8 cm (3 in)



DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: South America: Orinoco River basin. Found in areas of calm freshwater water.

DIET IN THE WILD: They are voracious omnivores feeding mainlyon zooplankton but also plants, worms, insects and crustaceans.


CONSERVATION: IUCN Redlist; not evaluated.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Flooded Amazon Anaconda Exhibit 2018

Ref. A Docent & Guide View of the Steinhart Aquarium Species

Ron’s flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608376694453/with/3178305677/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-188

Fishbase: www.fishbase.org/summary/speciessummary.php?id=10629

Encyclopedia of life  eol.org/pages/206551/maps

IUCN Red list: www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/search

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Characiformes (Characins)
Family: Prochilodontidae (Flannel-mouth characiforms)

Genus/species: Semaprochilodus taeniurus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The Flagtail Prochilodus silvery body is laterally compressed. The caudal fin is horizontally striped with 6+ black bands, alternating with deep gray bands.  

Length to 24 cm (9.5 inches)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: S. taeniurus is found in the Amazon basin and its tributaries such as the Rio Negro. It migrates and spawns in river channels but feeds mostly in the floodplains.

DIET IN THE WILD: Periphyton (a complex mixture of algae, cyanobacteria, microbes and detritus that is attached to surfaces in most aquatic ecosystems).

CONSERVATION: IUCN: Red List Least concern

                                   CITES: Not Evaluated. S. taeniurus is one of the most common fish in the Amazon basin and the most abundant.

flagtail prochilodusFllagtail Prochilodus Semaprochilodus insignis (Prochilodontidae) Flannel-mouthed Characins IMG_3094

REMARKS: They have two stomachs. One filled with mud and likely designed to process and  digest detritus.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Amazon Flooded Tunnel 2018

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/8532474845/in/set-72157620568438047

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-Se

fishbase  www.fishbase.us/summary/11898

Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/pages/1010276/details

General info on Characins. https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/26770704548/in/dateposted-public/

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Cichlidae (Cichlids)

Genus/species: Uaru Amphiacanthoides

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The body of the Uaru cichlid is deep and oval disc shaped. Color is mostly brown with a prominent thick horizontal black stripe covering the mid-section. Immature specimens are mottled in brown and black. They will typically achieve their adult coloration at about 4 inches in size.

Length up to 25 cm (10 in)

DISRTIBUTION/HABITAT: South America: Amazon River basin,

DIET IN THE WILD: The Uaru feeds on worms, crustaceans and insects but needs plants as supplement

REPRODUCTION: Parents care for (up to 200) eggs and larvae



California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Amazon Flooded Forest 2018

For more about cichlids as a family 

fishbase. www.fishbase.org/summary/11187

EOL eol.org/pages/220139/hierarchy_entries/27929141/details

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/7674722288/in/album-72157625825649576/

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Siluriformes (Catfish)
Family :Pimelodidae (Long-whiskered catfishes)

Genus/species: Phractocephalus hemiliopterus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: They are named for their orange-red caudal fin. The snout is rounded with three pairs of barbels around the mouth. The base body color is light black and little dark spots can be seen on the head. A wide, white band extends from the caudal peduncle to the tip of the snout. The belly is black, as are the fins except the upper tip of the dorsal fin which may be orange to red.

Length up to 134 cm (4.5 feet). Weight up to 44 kg (97 lbs)


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: P. hemiliopterus is native to South America: Amazon and Orinoco basins. They are found in large freshwater rivers, streams and lakes.

DIET IN THE WILD: Fish, crabs and fruit

REPRODUCTION: They exhibit external fertilization and do not guard the eggs. 

LONGEVITY: Approximately 20 to 30 years.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red list and CITES: Not Evaluated.

REMARKS: P. hemiliopterus has been introduced, but is not established in Florida, perhaps a good thing as the redtail is a voracious predator on smaller fishes. Because of its size it is a popular game fish.

Unfortunately, the Steinhart inhabitants of our open-topped tank have swallowed shoes, cameras, sunglasses, a plastic dinosaur and cell phones, occurrences that have occasionally required manual (and extremely careful) extraction by a biologist or the veterinarian.


fishbase fishbase.org/summary/Phractocephalus-hemioliopterus.html

California Academy of Sciences Rainforest Docent Training Class 2014

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3313914505/in/set-72157620568438047/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink   http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-91

EOL eol.org/pages/344961/details

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Characiformes
Family: Characidae (Characins)
Subfamily: Serrasalmidae

Genus/species: Piaractus brachypomus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Body is deep and laterally compressed, with silvery sides (becoming darker approaching the dorsum) and red coloration on the belly, chin, pectoral fins, and occasionally the leading rays of the anal fin. As in other characin species, a small, unrayed adipose fin is present approximately midway between the dorsal and caudal fins. The remaining rayed fins are uniformly dark-colored.

Length up to 88 cm (34.65 inches) Weight up to 25 kg (55.07 lb)


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Tropical. South America: Amazon and Orinoco River basins in open water of large rivers and seasonally flooded forests. Pacu are a popular aquaculture species around the world.

DIET IN THE WILD: The dentition is comprised of 2 series of molariform incisors located on the premaxilla and 1 row of dentary teeth. The Red-bellied Pacu feeds on insects and decaying fruits and vegetation that fall in water.

REPRODUCTION: External fertilization. Although parents abandon their eggs, Pacu are brood hiders, minimizing the chances of the clutch being discovered by predators.

PREDATION: Humans and possibility Pirarucu (Arapaima gigas) and Black caiman (Melanosuchus niger).

Lifespan up to 25+ years.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red list; Not evaluated CITES No special status

REMARKS: Because the Red-Bellied Pacu are closely related to Piranha, sharing their coloration and shape, Hollywood producers have been known to use the Pacu as a stand-in for piranha. Actors are appreciative of the Pacu’s preference for vegetable matter.

Pacu’s dentition allows them to crush fruit, nuts and seeds. Their teeth are cusped and resemble human molars, and they also have very powerful jaw. P. brachypomus can cause serious human bites of protruding anatomy.

Like the Tambaqui the Pirapitinga, is an important aquacultured food fish in South America.

All Pacu species are known for being able to adjust to unfavorable environmental conditions, such as depleted oxygen levels. Protrusion of the lower lip, all of which facilitate the use of surface water in respiration.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Amazon Flooded Tunnel 2018

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1oN

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/6502615125/in/set-72157620568438047

 fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/5808

 Animal Diversity Web ADW http://animaldiversity.org/ac  counts/Piaractus_brachypomus/

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata (chordates with backbones)
Class: Reptilia (turtles, crocodilians, snakes, lizards and tuatara
Order: Squamata (scaled reptiles)
Suborder: Serpentes (snakes)
Family: Boidae (boas)

Genus/species: Corallus caninus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Adults are typically emerald-green, juveniles are yellow to orange to brown. This individual has striking white markings occurring along the dorsal midline, but some populations lack them. C. caninus has two tiny spurs on either side of its cloaca opening thought to be the evolutionary remnants of hind legs.

Length up to 2.2 m (7.2 feet).


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: C. caninus are found lowland tropical rainforests in the Amazonian and Guianan regions of South America.They are arboreal species that spend most of their time in the rainforest canopy foliage. 

They Use the “concertina” method of tree climbing. It holds on to the trunk with its tail and lower part of its body, reaches up with its head and hooks its neck around the trunk. Then it releases its hold with the tail and pulls the rear part of its body up to the level of the neck.

Corallus caninus5252794466_c85c5e40ef_b
DIET IN THE WILD: They perceive prey primarily through sight and infrared heat receptors located in the labial scales. Carnivore Nocturnal predators of rodents, lizards, marsupials and an occasional bird.
Nocturnally they remain coiled on its branch, but will extend its neck pointing beneath it, curled as if about to strike. It will then hold still in this position, waiting for prey to approach directly underneath it. Their highly developed front teeth that are proportionately larger than those of other non-venomous snakes.


Corallus caninus5099438187_af0d2a4e3b_b

REPRODUCTION; Viviparous with a gestation period of 6 to 7 months. They typically give birth 10 young at a time and by 4 months, they begin to develop their adult, green coloration.

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 15 years in captivity.

PREDATORS; Guianan crested eagles (Morphnus guianansis)

CONSERVATION: CITES; no special status.

Corallus caninus4770065279_923bce3efd_b

REMARKS: They are slow-moving but when collected in the wild have been described as making no effort to escape until seized, whereupon they strike viciously and apply constriction at full force.


Animal diversity Web animaldiversity.org/accounts/Corallus_caninus/

Encyclopedia of life eol.org/pages/454883/details

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1×3

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/18399138824/in/album-72157652559028013/

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Characiformes (Characins)
Family: Serrasalmidae

Genus/species: Metynnis hypsauchen

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Almost circular in profile; juveniles may be spotted or striped; adults solidly silver with anal and caudal fins edged in red or orange. Length : 15.0 cm (6 inches).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Tropical South America primarily Amazon and Orinoco basins. Found in calm river reaches overhung by foliage.

DIET IN THE WILD: Generally herbivorous, eating leaves of river plants; occasionally eats worms and small insects.

REPRODUCTION: Group spawners. Eggs hatch in 3 days.


REMARKS: A schooling species related to piranhas.
Possesses powerful dentition that can cause serious bites.

Amazon Flooded Tunnel AM11


Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/6343628168/in/set-72157620568438047/

fishbase  fishbase.org/summary/Metynnis-hypsauchen.html

Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/pages/217649/details

Ron’sWordpress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-cl


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura (frogs)
Family: Hylidae (“tree frogs and their allies”)

Genus/species: Trachycephalus resinifictrix

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Light grey in color with brown or black banding,  Older frogs develop a slightly bumpy texture. The iris is golden with a black Maltese cross centered on the pupil. There is a vocal sac on each side of the head.  Reach 2.5 to 4 inches in length.


GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Light grey in color with brown or black banding, Older frogs develop a slightly bumpy texture. Reach 2.5 to 4 inches in length.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT:  Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Suriname, Venezuela.  Found in the canopy of tropical primary humid rainforests. They often inhabit vegetation which extends over permanent, slow-moving water.


DIET IN THE WILD: Insectivorous

REPRODUCTION: Mainly in the rainy season between November and May. Clutches of about 2500 eggs form a gelatinous mass that floats near the surface of water or adheres to the inner wall of the tree holes. Tadpoles feed on conspecific eggs and vegetable detritus until metamorphosis in the tree holes.


LIFESPAN Up to 25 years.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List; Least concern.


 REMARKS: The “milk” in the name comes from the poisonous milky-coloured fluid these frogs excrete when stressed.


Ron’s flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/8353978767/sizes/l/in/set-72157608456457315/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-Mo

eol  eol.org/pages/1025259/details

Connecticut Beardsely Zoo  beardsleyzoo.org/amazonmilkfrog-fk1

%d bloggers like this: