Water Creatures, Wildlife of South America, includes fish, marine turtles, and all sorts of marine creatures.
When faced with trouble, a puffer gulps in water until its stomach is full and the fish swells in size completely spherical. If that little fish also has sharp spines, it's a little procupine puffer. When the fish expands, the spines extend. When danger is over, the fish releases the water, the spines lie flat and the puffer resumes its normal shape and size.
About's Guide to Animals and Wildlife offers animal profiles, conservation, habitat and environment and much more information about wildlife the world over.
There are seven marine turtle species worldwide, all sharing much the same life cycles and characteristics, though the features are distinct. Four of the species are on the endangered lists and live in the tropical waters of Central and South America.
"New research published in the journal Wildnerness and Environmental Medicine has looked into the likelihood of getting stung by small driftwood catfishes called Centromochus, which are often accidentally scooped out of the river in buckets by bathers washing in Brazil's Rio Negro and Rio Solimoes."
"Decline in numbers was primarily due to demand for the high-quality skin of this species, mainly from 1930 to 1960 - and it is perhaps ironic that this high-value skin now makes sustainable use management programs feasible."
Description, habitats, biology, conservation and threats to the puma, also called léon de montaña, onça vermelha, onça parda suçuarana, tig rouge, and léon sabanero.
Learn about this endangered species and the conservation methods underway to preserve it.
"Inia geoffrensis (boto or Amazon River dolphin) can be found in the Amazon and Orinoco river basins and their main tributaries in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. Their distribution covers approximately 7 million square kilometers and is limited mainly by marine waters, impassable rapids, waterfalls, and excessively shallow parts of the rivers."
"Of the five freshwater species of dolphins in the world, the pink Amazon River dolphin, Inia geoffrensis, or "bufeo colorado” as they are known in Peru and “botos" as they known in in Brazil, are considered to be the most intelligent."
"Pink dolphins inhabit the Amazon River, but they can also be found in the Orinoco basins. While they are mostly pink, these dolphins have various colored skins, which can be light gray, pink, or brown. Pink dolphins have been listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a 'vulnerable species-threatened' and recently was moved to 'endangered species-threatened.'"
"Piranhas have been known since the discovery of South America. The fish are known to be abundant in the rivers of eastern and central South America. This fish is also known to some as the Caribe or Piraya."
"From the moment tiny baby piranhas hatch from their microscopic eggs, they come into the world armed and dangerous. Baby piranha will feast on tiny crustaceans, fruits, seeds, and aquatic plants. Once they reach about 1.5 inches in length they begin feeding on the fins and flesh of other fish that wander too closely."
"The Amazon rainforest is home to many amazing animals. Amongst these is the river dolphin or Boto (Inia geoffrensis). These dolphins are found in Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and Colombia. As their name suggests, they live exclusively in freshwater, and inhabit the river systems of the Amazon and Orinoco."
"Together with saltwater crocodiles, marine snakes, and marine iquanas, sea turtles are the only surviving seawater-adapted reptiles."
"Piranhas aren't the man-eaters folklore would suggest; you're much more likely to loose a toe, according to the results of a new survey of piranha attacks in Suriname. Humans are much more likely to be bitten when piranhas are removed from the water when fishing than they are while bathing in the water, the study claims."
"The family Dermochelidae includes only one species, the leatherback, or leatherneck, largest and heaviest of all turtles, weighing as much as 1100 lbs (500 kg.)" It's found in Peru's Paracas National Reserve.
Photos of tropical fish taken in their natural habitats.