Mar 28 2008

Things That Go Bump in the Night

Published by at 11:20 pm under Amazon Basin,South America

The activities at Sacha Lodge were almost all during the day but we had two nighttime excursions. The first night we were there, we went out on the lake in the dark. Our guide scanned the water with a large flashlight while we rode behind him in the canoe. When we got to the other side of the lake, a pair of eyes reflected back at us. It was a Black Caiman: pretty much an alligator but for South America. It is the largest predator in the Amazon basin. In the picture below, his head is at the surface and he’s facing into the plants.

The second nighttime activity was one of our favorite things we did at the lodge. It was a walk through the forest with flashlights and headlamps, looking for whatever we could find. I think I liked it because I was surprised at how much we could find and I felt like I had slightly better odds of finding something myself instead of needing the guides 100%.

On our way into the forest, our guides started us right off with this Tarantula. It was perfectly still the entire time we watched it because, if you look closely, you can see the wings of a cockroach it had just killed and was waiting to eat. Including the legs, this was probably about as big as my hand.

We saw another stick insect feeding on a leaf.

And here is a whip scorpion hanging out on a tree:

I did see a snake moving under a bush about 5 feet away but when I called the guide over, he was only able to see it for a split second before it slithered away into the leaves. It was long enough for him to know it was a very poisonous snake though so what does he do? He and the native guide head right over to the bush and start digging through the leaves and underbrush with sticks to try to find this thing. Um, what part of “very poisonous” did they not understand? No pictures of it but hey, there’s a piece of bravado instead.

– Dave

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One Response to “Things That Go Bump in the Night”

  1. Sara says:

    Did that whip scorpion have a whip?