Last Day at Las Cuevas

May 20, 2019

Today, we retrieved our camera traps and finished up some rainforest experiments. The morning hike to retrieve the traps was utterly exhausting, and everybody’s legs were sore afterward, but it was worth it for some amazing sightings. During the hike, we came upon a group of spider monkeys high up in the trees (likely the same group we have seen before in this area). They tried to intimidate us by shaking some branches but then became more curious and just stared at us. It was amazing to be in the presence of these animals that are so very human. And as Scott said the other day, we are very much apes ourselves.

To reach the last camera trap, we had to cross a fallen tree trunk full of aggressive ants that we knew all too well. On Thursday, all of us jumping onto the log to cross caused the ants to swarm the trunk such that on the way back, there was no way to cross without getting a handful of speedy biting ants. But this time, we all crossed quickly and efficiently enough to avoid this. The ticks were a little less avoidable unfortunately…

The beetle highlight from today was actually a species from my taxon ID card. I believe we spotted an Enema Endymion on the deck of the research station. This is a horned scarab beetle, and true to its name, it has a large horn at the front of its head.

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