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NAVC Amazon Expedition Day #5

This Large Spectacled Caiman Was "Hanging Out" Under The Dock Where Our Cookout And Evening Lecture Was Held!
June 15, 2011

We mistakenly received a 5:30 wake-up but I was up regardless. After breakfast our group, except for John, headed off on a 4-hour canoe trip and hike through an area known as La Garto (The Caiman). We saw plenty of plants, birds, and some new frogs.

We spent about an hour down at the lake swimming, looking at small fishes, and hanging out with many of our expedition friends. I know this is the first time we’ve swam in the same water with electric eels, caiman, piranhas, and who knows what else! The water was very refreshing and cool! And the lake is super deep; we could jump and dive off of a 5-foot wooden platform with no problem!

After lunch I gave about an hour of lecture, covering the rest of the invertebrates, and amphibians. Next we met Paul for a review of the herps we had seen and also an update on amphibian and reptile taxonomy; it was an excellent session. After that Carol Walton joined our group for an afternoon/twilight paddle on the Anaconda Creek and hike through the jungle. We picked up some more birds and amphibians, and, learned more about the amazing and diverse flora. Several of us were interested in a pre-dinner 45-minute herp walk, so, Paul and Wilson took Johanna, Randon, and me around the area of the Butterfly House. No snakes but a fair number of frogs and interesting invertebrates.

Dinner was a delicious cookout down by the swimming/boating area. There were several kinds of meats, vegetables, and desserts, including yucca and chimichuri sauce! They even brought the bar to the dock! After dinner, and a tour-ship like send-off led by Armadillo, People grabbed dessert and we assembled for my evening lecture on pet fish. I spoke for about 75 minutes and I think the talk was well received. During my presentation, the guides were catching piranha from the dock, lending a certain amount of excitement and “nature’s classroom” atmosphere to the lecture.
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