Saturday, July 29, 2006

bats that eat frogs

Day 19, Saturday, July 29
In the afternoons I take a nap in my hammock. There are no places that are comfortable to sit for more than an hour, and the mosquitoes are a nuisance. The hammock is a refuge that is comfortable and taking a nap passes the time. I am careful not to get caught up feeling bored, though there is little to do at times, and I need breaks even from the reading and writing. I carefully examine my mosquito bites, to ensure that they are in fact bites rather than strange burrowing insects that I've heard horror stories about. I have stood in waste water and I have had leaches on my body, but if I ever saw something emerging from my skin I think I'd probably lose it. After my inspection, I feel relatively assured that I am covered only by the regular run of the mill bites of mosquitoes. Bat netting was a success tonight. We set out a 12 m, 9 m, and 4, 6 m nets and caught 28 bats with two escapes/releases. We caught Glossophaga sorcina, Chiroderma salvini, Carollia brevacauda, Desmodus rotundus, Trachops cirrhosus, Artibeus jamaicensis, Artibeus tolteca. Trachops cirrhosus is really an interesting-looking bat. They are pretty common in lowland forests. We caught it low in the mist net, just above the ground, just as expected - these bats typically fly low through the forest searching for frogs near streams and other wet areas. They can even discriminate between poisonous and non-poisonous frogs, based on their calls! It would be so interesting to attach a radio transmitter on this Trachops to see where it roosts. Is it living in a cave somewhere or a hollow tree?

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