Monday, October 25, 2010

Meet the World's Smelliest Animal

A noxious dinner guest: the tamandua.Larry Knowles... Known as the lesser anteater, the tamandua is a slender, long-snouted animal native to Central and South America notorious for the foul scent it emits from its anal gland when it feels threatened.

"I would describe the smell as a pungent, slightly sweet skunky smell that you can smell before you even see or know there is an animal near you," Lucy Hale, educations program manager at the Dallas Zoo, said via e-mail. "Lots of people have an adverse reaction to the smell. Personally, I don't mind it."

Rick Schwartz, a handler at the San Diego Zoo, says the tamandua scent is so strong that people can smell it from 50 meters away.

"There's a reason it's known as the 'stinker of the rain forest,' " he said in a phone interview. "People think there must have been a skunk in the area."

According to Schwartz, the tamandua scent is four to seven times stronger than that of a skunk, an effective deterrent to one of the predators that roams its territory -- the jaguar. ...

via The Rankest of the Rank: Meet the World's Smelliest Animals.

Tamanduas are sometimes used by Amazonian Indians to rid their homes of ants and termites.

via Wiki


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