Northeast Brazil Poisonous Animals
Hi, I am traveling to the north east coast of Brazil a
place called natal in the early part of June and was just wondering if
you could answer two questions.
What kind of poisonous creatures could I encounter there. Although we are
in the city there are still a lot of vegetation and farm land around.
Also I wondered if you could tell me what kind of sharks are native to
Natal and if any of them are dangerous to humans.
According to "Poisonous Snakes of the World", a US government
publication for the armed forces, Brazil has several species of coral snakes
(Micrurus, sp.) and pit vipers aplenty: fer-de-lance (Bothrops, sp),
tropical rattlesnake (Crotalus, sp.)and bushmaster (Lachesis muta).
Sharks include, I am educated guessing here, most every man-eater there
is (with the added amusement that bull sharks travel great distances up
I do not know invertebrate details but "bullet ants" come to mind.
Have fun (but watch your step whether on land, sea, or river)
Michael Loop, Ph.D
I am glad to know that you will be traveling to
Brasil. See, it happens I am Brazilian and live in
Brasil, and also am one of the scientists from
Natal is a beautiful city (and resort) in Brasil,
and you will find there all the normal facilities
found in any civilized town. Wonderful beaches with
good hotels and restaurants. Probably you will
find there also some McDonalds and other fast food
At good restaurants the food, mostly sea food
(crabs, oysters, shrimps, lobsters) is very good,
clean and healthy. Beware of the pepper, some are
very seasoned. Try at least once the "tapioca" made
with manioc flour, real butter and regional cheese and
if you like with grated coconut. It is superb!
You can see some informations about the city at
Now I assure you will not have the opportunity
to find poisonous or dangerous animals, at the city
or surroundings countryside.
Look at the site:
Even it is written in portuguese no need for you to
read the texts as it is enough to see the beautiful
natural fauna, trees and bushes at the "caatinga",
natural ecosystem at the interior of Rio Grande do
Norte state. Natal is the capital of that state.
At the surroundings of Natal
there is the Parque das Dunas, (Dunas Park) a closed
natural reserve for the animals , many in extinction.
It is possible to visit the Park with guides,and if
you are lucky you will be able to see some of them.
About the sharks they are not found at Rio Grande do
Norte beaches or litoral, Sharks are only found
near Recife (some 300 miles away) beaches because it is
open sea there and these ferocious fishes only go
near the open ocean.
Enjoy your trip! and
Thanks for asking NEWTON!
(Dr. Mabel M. Rodrigues)
Brazil has many different poisonous creatures.
The Bushmaster snake is very venomous, however, it likes to stay hidden and
rarely bites anyone. You can find in the dense rain forests. Coral snakes
are found all over South America and often venture into residential areas.
The Fer-de-lance can be found on farms and will go into houses or barns in
search of small rodents to eat. The tropical rattlesnake can be found in
sandy places or on dry hill sides.
As for sharks, you might find nurse sharks, but they are not considered
dangerous to man. The Sand tiger might also be seen there. They have been
known to follow divers who have speared fish. The silky shark might also be
found. Others might be the dusty shark, sand bar shark, lemon shark,
hammerhead, and the southern sting ray.
As for any of these creatures being dangerous to you, the best advice is to
stay alert and always watch where you step, whether on land on in water. If
you are in part of the rain forest, walk on clear paths, do not go tromping
off through thick plant life. Bring along a guide of all the wildlife in
Brazil with you, this will help you identify the different snakes, lizards,
and sharks you might see, and also provide you with information as to if
these creatures can pose a threat to you. The best thing to do if you run
into one of these creatures is to keep your distance and leave it be. If it
is in your way, find a new way around it!
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Update: June 2012