Tayra (Eira barbara)  
Owlet Lodge, Abra Patricia, Amazonas dept., Peru
We saw several Tayras in our travels, the first ones in the Amazon, and then several at Owlet Lodge in northern Peru, at a much higher altitude in the Andes. It is a member of the Weasel family (Mustelidae), and can become quite tame around human habitation. They are generally diurnal, and den in tree hollows or burrows, and will eat just about anything from fruit to birds’ eggs, and will raid beehives. This one was feeding on banana put out at Owlet Lodge to attract tanagers and other fruit-eating birds.
(photo/text: David Cook)

Tayra (Eira barbara)  

Owlet Lodge, Abra Patricia, Amazonas dept., Peru

We saw several Tayras in our travels, the first ones in the Amazon, and then several at Owlet Lodge in northern Peru, at a much higher altitude in the Andes. It is a member of the Weasel family (Mustelidae), and can become quite tame around human habitation. They are generally diurnal, and den in tree hollows or burrows, and will eat just about anything from fruit to birds’ eggs, and will raid beehives. This one was feeding on banana put out at Owlet Lodge to attract tanagers and other fruit-eating birds.

(photo/text: David Cook)

Do Tayras Plan For the Future? 
by   Helen Fields
Humans buy unripe bananas, then leave them on the kitchen  counter. The tayra, a relative of the weasel native to Central and South  America, appears to         do much the same thing, picking unripe plantains and hiding them  until they ripen, according to a new study. The authors speculate that  tayras are         showing a human-like capacity to plan for the future, which has  previously been shown only in primates and birds.
Biologist Fernando Soley was an undergraduate at the University  of Costa Rica in 2004 when he first started thinking about tayras. He  was studying         poison dart frogs at La Selva Biological Station in northern  Costa Rica, when he noticed a tayra—essentially a giant weasel with a  bushy tail—approach a tree. “It climbed 4 meters high, went directly to a  bromeliad [a plant growing in the tree], and came back down with a ripe  plantain and ate         it,” Soley says. The trees in the forestry plantation where he  was working are planted in neat rows, and it’s easy for humans to get  lost. Because the         animal went straight to the plantain, he thought it couldn’t  have found it by chance. “I thought, wow, for sure this animal was the  one that brought it         there.”…
(read more: Science NOW)   (photo: Frans Lanting/Corbis)

Do Tayras Plan For the Future?

Humans buy unripe bananas, then leave them on the kitchen counter. The tayra, a relative of the weasel native to Central and South America, appears to do much the same thing, picking unripe plantains and hiding them until they ripen, according to a new study. The authors speculate that tayras are showing a human-like capacity to plan for the future, which has previously been shown only in primates and birds.

Biologist Fernando Soley was an undergraduate at the University of Costa Rica in 2004 when he first started thinking about tayras. He was studying poison dart frogs at La Selva Biological Station in northern Costa Rica, when he noticed a tayra—essentially a giant weasel with a bushy tail—approach a tree. “It climbed 4 meters high, went directly to a bromeliad [a plant growing in the tree], and came back down with a ripe plantain and ate it,” Soley says. The trees in the forestry plantation where he was working are planted in neat rows, and it’s easy for humans to get lost. Because the animal went straight to the plantain, he thought it couldn’t have found it by chance. “I thought, wow, for sure this animal was the one that brought it there.”…

(read more: Science NOW)   (photo: Frans Lanting/Corbis)