“A butterfly perches on the head of an Amazon River Turtle. Photographer Nate Chappell spotted the cheeky insect hitching a ride near the Amazon River in Ecuador. He explains: “I was standing in the open air lounge at Sani Lodge ecolodge in the Ecuadorian Amazon jungle when I noticed a butterfly perched on the head of this Amazon River Turtle. I scrambled down to the river bank to try and photograph it. At first the butterfly flitted off as I startled it but it soon returned to sit on the turtle’s head. The butterfly is of the genus Oleria and it’s believed that the butterflies take salts and minerals from the head and eyes of the turtles. The turtles let this go on, so they probably get some benefit from it as well.”“
Fun slideshow. And no waiting for each page to load, so it’s fast.
Sorry, I’m not going to post them here, but you can see them at:
What a marine massacre looks like
Yesterday I led a team of eight scientists and students from UNC, USFQ and the Galapagos Science Center that documented the catch aboard a vessel caught illegally long lining in the Galapagos Marine Reserve. We worked alongside a great team from the Galapagos National Park and were also assisted by the Ecuadorian Coast Guard. We identified, sexed, and measured every individual (there turned out to be 379 sharks, not 357 as reported earlier). We also took samples for genetic and demographic analysis (very little is known about the biology of some of these species). It took 10 hours and was grueling and very dangerous work. (There were lots of knives, hooks, and other sharp objects around, the sharks are very heavy and the deck of the ship was extremely slippery.) Beyond that, it was one of the most depressing and intense days of my life. It felt like we were unearthing a mass grave in a war zone. The bodies of the sharks were literally coming out of a dark hold beneath the deck as if they were being unearthed. We are all physically and emotionally toast today, so I thought I should start describing it all with a slide show (note, this is graphic and disturbing). I will post a lot more detail soon, including information on the broader context of shark fishing here and elsewhere.
Interesting upside from the BP disaster, though from looking at the slide show, it’s not really a ‘treasure trove,’ just some junk pottery. I’m pretty grumpy, so maybe this has much more value than I can convey. Have a look and tell me what you think.
Cleanup after the BP oil spill has turned up dozens of sites where archaeologists are finding human and animal bones, pottery and primitive weapons left behind by prehistoric Indian settlements — a trove of new clues about the Gulf Coast’s mound dwellers more than 1,300 years ago. But they also fear the remains could be damaged by oil or lost to erosion before they can be fully studied.