Monday, April 27, 2009

Air Caiman

So I'm back online having spent the last 2 weeks exploring the sensationally beautiful country of Venezuela. There is so very much to come including an array of seriously cool birds, large mammals and reptiles but first here's a handy safety tip. When you are traveling by boat in a tropical forest area you're likely to see some cool birds and stuff, like say a sunbittern (yeah I did), which you'll want to point out to your fellow passengers. I recommend not sticking your hand out over the water to do this. Its better to use an artificial hand consisting of some bits of chicken leftovers on a stick to do this.

jumping spec caiman3

Using the E,W&W artificial hand if the above happens you'll still be able to blog with both hands about your adventures you see. These are spectacled caiman, the smallest of 3 crocodillians we saw in Venezuela.

jumping spec caiman2

Pretty much any of the common crocodillians can do this though including gators. Whilst it looks like a trained bit of trick behaviour this is actually a perfectly natural feeding method for these guys. Absent chicken on a stick they will jump to catch bats or birds roosting in branches overhanging the water.

jumping spec caiman

These guys are pretty small but they coexist with a much bigger animal of which more later. By the way Floridians these guys are now established in your neck of the woods too to go with those burmese pythons you got.


Sally said...

Great shots!! (and good safety tip) Reminds me of the scene in Romancing the Stone, where the bad guy catches said stone over croc-infested water and poises there just a second too long.

Floridacracker said...

And what ISN'T established here? Sigh...

Great shots though!

Keetha said...

Oh, what a fun post. I can say that because it isn't MY hand holding the chicken stick over the water!!!!!

Let me say it one more time - - - I LOVE this blog and am SOOOOO happy I randomly found it one day when googling cycads!!!!

tai haku said...

Thanks for the kind comments all - FC, I did think of PFHQ when I read that invasive post, I fear you may be up to your eyeballs in pythons, caiman and monitors before too long at this rate.