Animals Seen in Argentina and Chile
Below is a list of animals that were observed and had their picture taken (or almost had their picture taken - read on, you'll see what I mean!). Each link will take you to the picture of that animal.
Dogs: The dogs we saw in Buenos Aires weren't exactly wild, but there were a surprising number of them. Many of them were seen in large groups all being walked by a single person (similar scenes are seen in New York City). The picture shown here isn't particularly special, but I do pose one question for you while you look at it: Why are the people on the grass on one side of the fence, while the dogs are on the sidewalk on the other side of the fence? It begs the question, who is walking who?!?
Beavers: Well, almost! Actually there are only two beaver dams in the picture. These were seen just a few meters from the Chile-Argentina border in Tierra del Fuego National Park, in Argentina.
Beelte: These black beetles were quite common on the trails in Torres del Paine National Park.
Condors: We actually saw condors in a number of locations within Chile. These were seen flying over the eastern boundary of Torres del Paine National Park.
Dogs: The dogs I saw in Chile were mostly strays, but well behaved strays. They were always looking for handouts, but the ones I saw were not aggressive or ill-tempered. I still wouldn't recommend petting them but they weren't as much of a problem as the stray dogs I used to encounter in Honduras.
Dusky dolphin: Only a few of us on the Terra Australis were fortunate to be in the right spot at the right time to see this dolphin. We were approaching Punta Arenas and most everyone was preparing for disembarking. Cathy and Jean in the cabin next to mine spotted the dolphins following in the wake of the ship.
Grasshopper: Kevin found this grasshopper on the trail to Lago Sarmiento. It is perfectly camouflaged for the rocks in that area.
Gray Fox: Well, almost! I did actually see a gray fox while in Chile, but was unable to get a picture of it. What is shown here is grey fox feces. They typically will drop their feces in a visible location on a tuft of grass or bush as a way of marking territory.
Great Horned Owl: This owl was spotted by the Explora guide on the hike out to Lago Grey in Torres del Paine National Park. It just sat on the branch above the trail, watching us as we quietly walked beneath it.
Guanacos: These animals are closely related to llamas and alpacas. All three are related to camels.
Insect: This unidentified insect was seen collecting nectar from the flowers along the Las Cornisas trail, Atacama Desert, Chile.
Lesser Rhea: The ostrich-like birds are not comfortable with people and tend to quickly move away from the road when vehicles approach, making it difficult to get good pictures.
Magellanic Penguins: More pictures of the penguins can be seen at the Isla Magdalena web page.
Mylodon: OK, this isn't even a living animal - its extinct. This one isn't even a real mylodon, but a reconstruction of what a mylodon, or giant ground sloth, may have looked like in real life. These are extinct megafauna (large animals) from the Pleistocene Epoch (1.6 million years ago to 10,000 years ago). We visited the Mylodon Cave in Chilean Patagonia, just north of the town of Puerto Natales. This is the site where the first mylodon skeletons were found.
Petrel: This and a number of other birds were seen flying around the ship while cruising from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas, Chile.
Sea lions: They are difficult to see, but the rounded brown lumps on the brown colored rocks are actually sea lions - you'll have to trust me on this one!
Sheep: Again, these aren't exactly wild, but sheep ranching is an important part of the economy in Chilean Patagonia. These sheep were seen on the ranch, Estancia Rio Penitente. We also saw sheep shearing, by a sheep shearer in the sheep shearing shed. Try and say that quickly!
Vizcacha: This is a small rabbit-like rodent related to the guinea pigs. We saw it on the way to Volcán Toco and as you can see it wasn't cooperating very well for pictures.