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domingo, 10 de julio de 2011

A new large mammal, a new lizard and a snake without a rattle in its tail!

Well I was going to start this post with after the excitement of my butterflies hatching things have been pretty quite here, however that was until yesterday morning!

You are not going to believe what I saw. I’m still reeling from the shock myself. 7am, walking along the beach, minding my own business and what should swim past me, casual as you like…? Only a capybara!!! It was just paddling along as calm as can be, diving and surfacing without a care in the world. And it was MASSIVE! It’s no wonder they are the worlds largest rodent it was HUGE! Not only was it amazing for me to see, as I have never seen one before, but it is the first sighting here at Laguna Blanca which means another large mammal species for our records. This place is incredible!

That’s not the only amazing thing to have happened in the last 24 hours. I recently caught a couple of lizards in one of my pitfall traps which look similar to a species we catch quite regularly here, Cercosaura schreibersii, but when I compared them there was something that just didn’t look right. And after much conflabbing and emailing of photos with Paul our scientific co-ordinator it turns out that they are different. They are in fact a species of which there is only one record of in Paraguay and that was from 1895 !! Another really important find at Laguna Blanca!

Other than all of that though, it has to be admitted its’ been pretty quiet. This is due to it being so cold all of my reptile and amphibian friends have been tucked up in their beds and refusing to come out. All except for the Bothrops – a highly venomous snake that doesn’t rattle to warn you its there - that Aimee one of our interns keeps running into on her small mammal transects. However it always manages to disappear whenever I am available to go and remove it! I am on call now, whenever she is in the field I am prepped and ready to drop everything and nab it. I fear its going to be a long wait!

That’s all folks

See you next time


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