Of Golden Toads and Serpents Roads (Louise Lindsey Merrick Natural Environment Series)


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Of Golden Toads and Serpents' Roads (Louise Lindsey Merrick Natural Environment Series)

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Try Yumpu. Start using Yumpu now! Sometimes an insect inadvertently brought about its own demise by attracting a large lizard to the mist net. Once, I witnessed a large male basilisk in the middle of a net munching contentedly on a giant insect, and the next day I observed a giant spider doing the same.

In addition to birds and herps, the tropics are also home to a large array of mammals. I would really like to get some photos of them. If it were up to me, I would cut the bird out of the net each time. As luck would have it at least for me , we were late in closing down the nets one night.

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By the time we visited the last site, we found dozens of bats entangled in one net, all attempting to chew their way out. Most were leaf-nosed bats phyllostomatids , which were adorned Leaf-nosed bat entangled in a bird mist net in Belize. The ordeal went rather well. It would be at least a month before any appreciable precipitation could be expected.

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The absence of rain would mean a paucity of animals, especially snakes and amphibians. We decided to stop for a snack and to check out the place as a possible temporary campsite. When he asked what we were doing in Belize, we told him we were here to collect and study local reptiles and amphibians. There were twelve cabins in all, none presently occupied. Each cabin had a double bed, but it was far more comfortable to use the large hammock that hung on the porch overlooking the river.

Despite the lack of amenities there was no electricity and everyone had to share a communal toilet , the place had class and charm. Tom went out of his way to prepare special meals for us, and he even let us use his rowboat to hunt along the shore of his property. One morning I got up rather early, and Tom asked if he could accompany me on a short outing to a wooded area across the river. After we climbed the steep embankment on the other side of the river, we had to walk only a short distance to reach a pristine tract of forest where numerous fallen trees lay in various stages of decomposition—a good source of shelter for reptiles and amphibians.

Tom really enjoyed this activity, and each time we found something, he wanted to learn everything there was to know about it. In my haste to catch the lizard, I miscalculated its distance and grabbed it too far back, causing it to lose its tail. When the severed tail fell to the ground and started to wiggle on its own, Tom just stood there speechless, pointing in disbelief at the writhing appendage. Soon I found another lizard—one I was very pleased to catch. Since I wanted to get a picture of her in that threatening pose, I delayed catching her.

I cautioned Tom not to move, so that she would maintain that position. My warning was unnecessary.

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Not only did she stay on her tiptoes after being picked up, but she assumed that position repeatedly over the next two days whenever she was threatened. After the show-and-tell, Tom prepared lunch before we took our obligatory midday siesta. These breaks were not due to any fatigue on our part, but they kept us from burning to a crisp in the steamy afternoon temperatures that frequently soared above one hundred degrees.

Without fans to stir the breeze, we found it nearly impossible to fall asleep in the oppressive heat. Just to humor him, I put on my glasses and glanced at the end of my hammock. I quickly scrambled over to the post to see if it was indeed a lizard.

Sure enough, walking around the base of the hammock, completely oblivious to every- Jack McCoy holding a tiger rat snake, one of the many snakes we found in Belize. Although its coloration was mostly light gray, the underside of its tail was bright orange, and it elevated that tail in display as I tried to catch it. After securing the lizard, I tried again to get some rest, but on such trips, rest is something I had learned to live without.

By sunset, Jack and I were anxious to try our luck at road cruising. Now and then we saw what appeared to be some kind of animal on the road ahead of us, the sight of which gave us a brief rush of anticipation. With their inchplus-long hypodermic fangs, most pit vipers can easily bite through a cloth bag and envenomate a careless handler. The rest of the night was disappointing. Although it was not the most productive night, we were pleased to have caught at least one snake— and thankful it was not an eight-foot-long adult.

The solution was simple. I placed the snake in our ice chest for several minutes until it was cool enough to be safely manipulated. At that point, I remembered what I had initially intended to do before I got sidetracked. I jumped up from the table and ran over to the ice chest.

The pillowcase that contained the snake had fallen and was now submerged under three inches of ice water. On the bright side, I no longer had to worry about the snake escaping or biting me while I tried to photograph it. I carried it by hand to a small clearing near one of the huts. Half an hour later, Jack removed the bag from its perch, untied the knot, and poured the contents on the table.

Before grabbing the snake, he gave it a long, hard look, then turned and gave me a long, cold stare.

This time, however, I was careful not to use my hands during the photo session, just in case we were dealing with some kind of supernatural snake. The precaution was well founded.

Of Golden Toads and Serpents Roads (Louise Lindsey Merrick Natural Environment Series) Of Golden Toads and Serpents Roads (Louise Lindsey Merrick Natural Environment Series)
Of Golden Toads and Serpents Roads (Louise Lindsey Merrick Natural Environment Series) Of Golden Toads and Serpents Roads (Louise Lindsey Merrick Natural Environment Series)
Of Golden Toads and Serpents Roads (Louise Lindsey Merrick Natural Environment Series) Of Golden Toads and Serpents Roads (Louise Lindsey Merrick Natural Environment Series)
Of Golden Toads and Serpents Roads (Louise Lindsey Merrick Natural Environment Series) Of Golden Toads and Serpents Roads (Louise Lindsey Merrick Natural Environment Series)
Of Golden Toads and Serpents Roads (Louise Lindsey Merrick Natural Environment Series) Of Golden Toads and Serpents Roads (Louise Lindsey Merrick Natural Environment Series)
Of Golden Toads and Serpents Roads (Louise Lindsey Merrick Natural Environment Series) Of Golden Toads and Serpents Roads (Louise Lindsey Merrick Natural Environment Series)
Of Golden Toads and Serpents Roads (Louise Lindsey Merrick Natural Environment Series) Of Golden Toads and Serpents Roads (Louise Lindsey Merrick Natural Environment Series)

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