July 18, 2011

Rain, etc.

From Clay:


Rain, rain, rain. I am beginning to understand why it is called a “rainforest.” I feel like I have experienced more rain in the past several days than in the previous nineteen years of my existence combined. But hey, you need water to find water beetles, so I guess I shouldn't complain.

Yesterday morning, we went into the old growth part of the forest, where only a select few—including our sciency selves—are allowed to go. We were there to service the FIT traps that we had erected several days earlier. On the way up to the first trap we made an exciting discovery: tapir dung! While that may not seem like an incredibly sweet find to most people, I was really excited. A short while later, we encountered more mammalian awesomeness when we encountered a pair of coatis as they passed through the forest. They were quite wicked (in the New England sense of the word), especially as I had been keeping my fingers crossed in the hope that I would get to see them on this trip. All in all, it was a very successful day, as I finally got my tropical mammal fix (not counting the adorable, fluffy puppies at the lodge) on top of collecting a number of cool water beetles.

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The Biodiversity Institute is home to about 60 graduate students and 30 research scientists and curators. They participate in field expeditions to all seven continents and represent areas such as entomology, ornithology, paleontology, parasitology and herpetology. As the authors of this blog, they share their experiences and adventures in collections-based biological research all over the world.

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