One of the most exotic species of Amazônia – and one found nowhere else in the world – is the Amazon River Dolphin (Inia geoffrensis). Also known as the Pink Dolphin and locally as Boto, these freshwater mammals are as mysterious as they are mythical. It is the largest of the world’s freshwater dolphins with males reaching weights of more than 400 pounds and lengths of over eight feet. Males are larger than females and are often more vibrant in color. Despite the moniker of Pink Dolphin, it is born dark gray in color. Skin color lightens with age and eventually turns pink with repeated skin abrasion. Water temperature, transparency, and geographic location are also factors in color variants. (more…)
The largest of all the otter species, the aptly named Giant Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) is indigenous to Amazônia and frequently seen while fishing with Capt. Peacock despite the fact that it is considered to be one of the most endangered mammal species in the neotropics. As its name suggests, it is a large animal with males reaching upward of 5.6 feet in length and weights upwards of 71 pounds. Females tend to be smaller than the males, averaging between 3.5 – 5 feet in length and reaching weights between 50 to 60 pounds. Both males and females carry short fur that is chocolate to reddish brown in color yet appears black when wet. Most individuals carry at least some cream colored markings under the chin and along the belly. These markings are as individual as the animal and are thought to help in identification as adults tend to greet each other by “periscoping” or rising out of the water to expose chest and chin.
Giant otters have a short muzzle and round, extremely small ears. The latter, along with its nostrils, close completely when underwater. Its whiskers are long and extremely sensitive and are used to track changes in water current and pressure as well as to help in finding prey. Despite this advantage, the giant otter is believed to hunt by sight. Its hearing and smell are considered to be excellent.
An apex predator of the Rio Negro, giant otters prey on almost anything including fish, crabs, and small snakes and caiman. They are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day only, and have no natural enemies.
Giant otters are extremely vocal and often bark and growl at anglers who invade their territory. They are not dangerous unless they feel threatened, find their young to be threatened, and or are cornered.
Seeing a giant otter in the wild is considered good luck and a positive omen by some local tribes!
A young lady by the name of Maria in Arlington, Texas writes:
“Dear Capt. Peacock,
I’m six years old and want to know what the Easter Bunny is like in the Amazon. In Texas he brings us a basket filled with grass and hides eggs and chocolates and toys all around the house and yard for us to find before we go to church.
Is that what happens down where you live?
Well Maria, thank you for the letter and might I say what pretty handwriting you have for a six-year-old even if it is in crayon.
Yes, there is an Easter Bunny down here and I suppose it’s probably the same one that comes to your house in Texas. I’m not sure how he gets to every little boy’s and girl’s houses all over the world in one night but he seems to do just that. Maybe he learned how to do that from Santa Claus. (more…)
Capt. Peacock Yachts & Expeditions Media & Marketing Manager Gayne C. Young recently returned from the Toronto Sportsmen’s Show at the International Centre in Toronto, Canada where the company exhibited for the first time. The five-day show is considered to be one of the largest hunting, fishing, and outdoor themed shows in the country and saw over 65,000 people in attendance. And despite the weakness of the Canadian dollar and this being the company’s first time to exhibit north of the U.S., Young says that Capt. Peacock exceeded all expectations. “Each show is unique and this was no exception,” Young explained upon his return. “We traditionally sell a great many private cruises and couples trips at DSC and SCI but the norm at the Toronto show seemed to be family trips.” Young feels the new, larger and more hotel-like Rio Negro Queen is partially responsible for the swell of family interest. “I think we owe most of our success at the show to the family appeal of the new yacht and to the kids in the families that came by the booth,” Young confesses. “It seemed as though the dads stopped by when they saw the trophy peacock bass, the moms were the first to notice the new yacht, and the kids – teens mostly – were the ones that voiced that this was a trip they wanted to take as well.” (more…)