Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Jungle Creatures

In the Amazon basin last week, we traveled on a luxurious river boat called the Delfin 2. We took daily trips on skiffs to see the forest and the tributaries of the river, looking for interesting creatures and enjoying the views of the flooded forests.  I'll be writing more about the boat, the activities, and the forests, the birds we saw, and more now that I am back in the US.

Amazon birds, which we were very eager to see, are colorful and exciting, but the forest is also full of other creatures. Here are a few creatures and one or two birds --
A tarantula, which a native guide found while we were hiking in
the forest. All our other trips were by boat because most of the trails
are underwater now, in the high-water season.
A tortoise on the forest floor.
This bird, the jacana, walks on the water lettuce that covers the surface of the water. This male jacana is sitting on
a nest. The female lays the eggs and leaves them to the male. She may even make another nest with another male. 
One of many sloths that we saw hanging in the trees.
We saw many of these beautiful birds called yellow-rumped caciques. They nest
all along the river banks, and we saw them on every skiff ride.
We often saw iguanas sitting on tree branches.
A family group of night monkeys. We saw quite a few other monkeys as well.
Just after dark, our guide pulled this young caiman out of the water.
When grown he might be 9 feet long. 
A young boy held up an unusual fish to show us as our skiff went past his
house, which stands on stilts in the water. The villagers live on fish that
they catch -- a wide variety of species that are unfamiliar to us.
The village on stilts in the forest.

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