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Tinamous: Tinamidae

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Tinamous And People, Conservation Status, Highland Tinamou (nothocercus Bonapartei): Species AccountGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET


Tinamous are found in southern Mexico and throughout Central and South America, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Belize, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guyana, Guatemala, French Guiana, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Surinam, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Tinamous occupy a wide variety of habitats. Some species live in tropical rainforests, others in bush woodlands and the edges of forests. Several live in arid or semiarid grass-covered treeless plains or grasslands. Several species live in the alpine tundra of the Andes Mountains.

Tinamous eat a mostly herbivorous (consists of plants) diet consisting of seeds, roots, fruits, berries, tender leaves, and flowers. They also on occasion will eat insects and their larvae (LAR-vee), spiders, termites, ticks, worms, snails, and slugs. Several species will eat small vertebrate animals, those with a backbone, such as lizards, frogs, and mice.

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Animal Life ResourceBirds