The Harpy is a scary beast.
Over 150 years ago, in the steamy jungle of the Amazon Rainforest, the explorer and naturalist Henry Walter Bates was watching two different butterflies fly side-by-side. He had discovered that one was poisonous, which would make any predator sick if it was eaten. He also knew that the other lacked any poison defense.
I hadn’t originally intended to cover vampire bat facts in one of these blog instalments; however, when I saw the fascinating and unique footage (perhaps representing the only footage of parasitization of a wild host - a collared peccary) on one of my camera traps at Tambopata Research Center, in the Tambopata National Reserve, I needed no encouragement to pivot from my originally scheduled content.
When you think of the Amazon Rainforest – what do you think of? Usually, the rainforest comes to us in images of color, biodiversity and an exoticness which echoes in our imaginations. We often think of fauna or birds – colorful macaws and mysterious jaguars.
I'm an explorer, biologist and wildlife photographer specializing in macrophotography and integrated systems ecology. I travel the world's Equatorial rainforests to document and share the earth´s most diverse ecosystems to highlight the tremendous adaptations and diversity of the microfauna.
I step off a boat and set foot onto a beach, my feet sinking slightly into the soft, fine sand. I pause for a second and contemplate the smooth, featureless terrain in front of me...and then I look further beyond and notice the almost solid green wall of lush vegetation, reminding me that I'm far from the coast and the ocean, in the middle of the Amazon rainforest.