See some of the animals that live in one of Brazil‘s incredible natural places: The Pantanal. Covering over 70,000 square miles—”an area the size of Washington State”—this wild and mostly unprotected oasis is the largest marsh in the world. National Geographic calls it a biodiversity star:
“Life in the Pantanal follows the ebb and flow of an epic ecosystem that pulses with the seasons like a beating heart.
“Each year torrential rains fill the Pantanal’s giant basin, creating a vast flooded landscape. When the downpour subsides, water slowly drains into the Paraguay River, leaving behind fish- and snail-filled pools that attract huge flocks of egrets, storks, and spoonbills. Even pantaneiros, the local cowboys, move their cattle herds in sync with the water.”
Recorded by Marco Polo Film in 2014, this Go Wild video from South America, 14.5 minutes of observation from Pantanal to the Iguaçu Waterfalls, features the formidable Yacaré caiman, known for its voracious appetite and willingness to devour various prey, whether it be fish, fowl, or even its own species.
In stark contrast, the capybara, the world’s largest rodent, is a gentle herbivore with webbed toes for foraging both in water and on land.
The video also introduces the giant otter, an endangered species that can grow up to 1.8 meters (5.9 feet) in length and, with the exception of humans, is the ruler of its Pantanal territory.
Other avian inhabitants of the region include the the Yabirú (Jabiru) stork, Hyacinth Macaws, the chestnut-eared aracari, and the formidable giant toucan with its impressive 20-centimeter (almost 8-inch) bill.
Then travel farther south to Las Cataratas del Iguazú, the Iguaçu Falls. These world-famous waters, the largest waterfall system in the world, are where scavenging black vultures await potential meals.
Previously: The Soothing Wetlands of Argentina.
Plus, enjoy a few related videos from the archives:
• Seven calming minutes observing South American birds
• Baby capybaras jostle a sleeping parent
• Leafcutter Ants carry messages in the Amazon Rainforest
• Vultures, the acid-puking, plague-busting heroes of the ecosystem
• Rio the Hyacinth Macaw, a Cincinnati Zoo Home Safari video