Fun Tayra Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Tayra Facts For Kids

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The tayra, Eira barbara as it is scientifically known where Eira is the animal tayra genus and barbara means strange or foreign, is a weasel-like animal and belongs to the Mustelidae family. This animal is found in tropical and subtropical deciduous and evergreen forests in central and south America and Trinidad. They are known to be terrestrial and arboreal. These animals live in hollow trees and burrows. The diet of this animal includes rodents, lizards and small mammals, and invertebrates. This animal is long and slim and has a long bushy tail, which helps them balance while climbing trees. It has dark fur all over the body and a patch on the chest and males are relatively large and more muscular than females. While not much is known about the reproduction process of the Eira barbara, it has been observed that reproduction takes place through breeding which happens a whole year and two to three babies are born which are dependent on their mothers for some time. Communication happens through yowls, snarls, and calls. It is as interesting to know about this unique animal so read on. If you are interested to know more, read our articles on Kodiak bear and Siberian tiger facts too.

Fun Tayra Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Rodents, birds, lizards, and small mammals

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

6-15.4 lb (2.7-7 kg)

How long are they?

24-27 in (609.6-685.8 mm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?


Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Loss Of Habitat And Hunting

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Tropical And Sub-tropical Forest


Central And South America And Trinidad









Tayra Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a tayra?

The tayra is a weasel-like animal.

What class of animal does a tayra belong to?

The tayra belongs to the class of mammals.

How many tayras are there in the world?

There is no specific number of tayras in the world recorded.

Where does a tayra live?

Tayras mostly live in forests and grasslands in Central and South America and also in Trinidad.

What is a tayra's habitat?

Tayras are mostly found in tropical and subtropical deciduous and evergreen forests with secondary growth and plantations. The elevation of the habitat of the Tayra ranges from lowlands to about 2000-2400 m. They live in hollow trees, burrows, and nests made of grasses. They are both ground and tree-dwelling, that is they are both terrestrial and arboreal.

Who do tayras live with?

The tayra is generally known to travel alone but is sometimes seen in small groups.

How long does a tayra live?

When in captivity, the tayra is known to live for about 22 years.

How do they reproduce?

While not much is known about the reproduction of this animal, the breeding of the tayra takes place the whole year and thus, the females enter estrus around 3-20 days a year. The gestation lasts for up to 63-67 days. Two to three babies are born and are taken care of by the female alone. The newborns weigh around 0.16-0.2 lb  (74-93 g).

What is their conservation status?

The conversation status of tayras is Least Concern on the IUCN list.

Tayra Fun Facts

What do tayras look like?

A tayra looks similar to a weasel and a medium-sized dog. They have a long and slender body and a long, bushy tail that is about 15-18 in long and can weigh up to 6-15 lb (2.7-7 kg). Males tend to be relatively large than females. They have short fur uniformly all over the body which is dark brown to black in color. The head and neck fur is paler than the other body and is grayish or tan in color whereas the throat and neck are light-colored with a triangular spot. The head has small and rounded ears and long whiskers. Tayras have black eyes with a blueish-greenish shine. The claws of tayras are comparatively short but strong that helps them in climbing and running rather than digging. The footpads are hairless and have sensory hair. They have a yellow or orange spot on the chest. This patch on the chest makes this species unique.

The long tail of the tayra is one of the most gripping features of this animal.

How cute are they?

Since tayras resemble weasels, they are considered to be cute. Their small size and furry coat make them quite sweet.

How do they communicate?

When in small groups, they communicate with yowls, snarls, and clicking sounds, and when tayras are frightened they tend to produce a short barking call and climb a tree.  

How big is a tayra?

Tayras not that big and considered to be small and slender animals. The length of the tayras' body ranges from 24-27 in (609.6-685.8 mm) and the weight of a tayra ranges from 5.95-15.4 lb (2.7-7 kg).

How fast can a tayra run?

Tayras can run, climb and swim with agility and speed. This species is known to be expert climbers and when moving at high speed use a bounding gallop.

How much does a tayra weigh?

The weight of this species ranges from 6-15.4 lb (2.7-7 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

There is no specific male and female name of this species.

What would you call a baby tayra?

There is no specific name for a baby tayra. You can simply call it a baby tayra.

What do they eat?

Tayras are known to be opportunistic predators and their diet includes rodents, lizards, and birds and small mammals, and other invertebrates. They also eat fruits and honey from the trees as they tend to be really good climbers.

Are they aggressive?

As these animals are good predators, they tend to be aggressive sometimes towards other animals.

Would they make a good pet?

Though these animals are extremely playful and can be tamed at a young age, these animals are quite restless and tend to spit, growl and snort when alarmed, and are quite loud. Also, these animals bear a strong odor which might be a problem for some people. All in all, these tayras might not make the best pet.

Did you know...

The tayra animal is nocturnal and is most active during the evening and night. They are most active at night and on cloudy mornings.

Tayras have wrinkled facial skin and thus, are also known as Cabeza del Viejo which means 'old man's head' in Spanish.

The indigenous people use this animal to reduce or control vermin problems.

Predators of tayras include dogs and humans. Humans specifically hunt or trap this animal for its pelt.

Studies have been conducted to examine if this animal plans for the future like humans and it has been observed that tayras pick unripe fruits and hide them.

Its origin lies in the mid 19th century from Tupi taira.

How does a tayra protect itself?

The Eira barbara is known to be a fast runner and climber and when it feels threatened or alarmed, it produces a short barking call and also tends to snort or growl, and to protect themselves they run and climb to the nearest tree. They can leap quite considerable distances and bounce and move on rocky cliffs and also move from branch to branch.

How is a tayra adapted to its habitat?

The tail of a tayra helps it to balance when climbing trees and bouncing from one branch to another. Its long claws which are strong help it to climb and run on trees, rather than digging as this animal is considered to be arboreal and terrestrial. The tayras are also known to have autopodial abilities which help them navigate arboreal substrates. The morphological traits of this animal are very evolved like inertia and ecological signals to explore diverse habitats and resources.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including gemsbok, or weasel.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Tayra coloring pages.

Written By
Team Kidadl

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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