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The tayra (Eira barbara) is a solitary mammal who lives in the forest, in hollow trees, logs or burrows made by other animals. Tayras are omnivorous and have long claws and sharp canine teeth. Their preferred food is small mammals, especially spiny rats, and they have been used by indigenous people to control rodents. Tayras can climb, run and swim with speed and agility. They are active at night and on cloudy mornings. When they are frightened, Tayras give a short, barking call and climb the nearest tree. Although they are usually alone, tayras are sometimes seen in small groups, communicating with yowls, snarls, and clicking sounds.