For a naturalist and limlogist, the Pantanal has the extreme fascination of an ultima Thule ofundisturbed and little kwn wilderness. The scientific world at large is almost unaware of its richness. In an age when scientific research is overstretched because of lack of funds and the hands are full of urgentconservationtasks, it is the amateurtourist who unveils the beauty and the interestof this largest wetland ofthe world. I had the privilege of an outsider, well eugh familiarized with Brazil, its language and scientific life, but independent eugh of the daily chores of a local academic career. For nearly 20 years I have been a faithful sci- entific tourist to this subcontinent. My academic liberty gave me the unique opportunity to try to synthesize in English the kwledge about Brazilian environments little kwn abroad. My first suchendeavourhas been Soore- tama - the Atlantic Rain Forest of Brazil . Dealing w with the Pantanal, I wish to pay tribute to the many Brazilian colleagues who under dire and often precarious conditions have advanced the kwledge related to the Pan- tanal. By reviewing their many reports and papers written in Portuguese and bringing them to the kwledge of the international scientific community, I believe that I am doing a useful service. First of all, I have to thank Prof. Vera Lucia Imperatriz Fonseca, the Head of the Department of General Ecology at the University of Sao Paulo, for providingme during the years, the academic basefrom which I couldoperate.