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Eironca

The largest predator of South America: length of a body is up to 2 meters, weight - up to 160 kg. It descends from the modern South-American marten tayra (Eira barbara), lives in rather cool areas of continent: in a southern part and in mountain areas, preferring for life woodlands and forests.  By proportions it is similar to a short-legged cat, but the head as against cat's one, is extended. Than jaws are longer than cat's ones, the animal kills prey by a strong sting in a neck. A tail is long and rather flexible. Claws are not pulling, allow the animal to swarm up trees. Wool is long, to winter it becomes appreciable thicker. The basic colouring of the body is ochre-red, on sides and shoulders there are small roundish black spots. On a back spots merge in short longitudinal strips. Throat, stomach and ends of paws are white. This is an active predator, preying large ground vertebrates, sometimes it can fishing. Once a year in the spring (in southern hemisphere - in the end of September) the female gives rise to 4 - 6 cubs. About 3 months cubs live in a lair among bushes, in cave or in hollow tree trunk. They are feeding by milk, since 2-nd month of life - by semidigested meat. Cubs start to be fed by fresh meat from 5 months of life, since 7 months they study to hunt. The pack remains under mother’s care up to the age of 18 – 20 months. Feeling approach of new delivery, the female expels cubs from the territory. Sexual maturity comes at the age of 5 - 6 years, life expectancy is till 30 years.

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