Keeping it in the family – Meeting the mammals

Our closest relatives, with who we share the same phylogenetic class (humans are mammals too, after all) are defined as vertebrates covered in hair (with the exception of some aquatic and marine species who have lost it) who present mammary glands to feed their young during the first years of their life. With big eyes and great charism, mammals are incredibly attractive – perhaps due to the similarity they bear to us!

Between the mist and the dense branches of Mashpi there are many types and species of mammals, timid and slippery and generally difficult to see. The Ecuadorian Chocó is home to around 165 species of these furry beings – those of which have been observed with a spot of luck or because of the investigations within the Mashpi reserve, belonging to 11 orders and around 30 families.

The easiest mammals to observe in the Mashpi forest are squirrels, armadillos, agouti and tayras, who you can see shamelessly at the feeders that Mashpi Lodge leaves outside, stealing bananas between their sharp claws.

However, to see the other jealous, untrusting creatures, like felines, monkeys, deer and pacas, you need to be incredibly patient and camouflaged, or observe the discoveries of the different camera traps that are laid out in the forest.

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