Showing posts from August, 2012

Spider cam.

Picture from a camera trap set-up outside a tarantula burrow. This is its resident, Susana. © Xaali O'Reilly, 2012

Guess what left this print...

© Xaali O'Reilly, 2012

Camera trap peek...

August 2012 – This time round, got more than just biologists on the camera traps – below is a tayra ( Eira barbara ) and a lowland or spotted paca ( Cuniculus paca ). Tayra, Eira barbara.  © Xaali O'Reilly, 2012 Lowland paca,   Cuniculus paca.  © Xaali O'Reilly, 2012 September 2012 – From a third camera trap trial, agoutis and a squirrel: Agouti,  Dasyprocta punctata.  © Xaali O'Reilly, 2012 Agouti, Dasyprocta punctata.  © Xaali O'Reilly, 2012 Squirrel, Sciurus sp.   © Xaali O'Reilly, 2012

Kingdoms in the Canopy (II): Who's who up a tree

The canopy of a tropical rainforest is a world very different from the ground it shadows. Trees are ladened with bromeliads and orchids, draped in mosses and ferns, tangled in vines and lianas, and, in some cases, burdened with the weight of other trees. In turn, the leaves of these plants growing on trees – known as epiphytic – may have other forms of plantlife growing on their leaves! These plants are epiphyllic . So, epiphytes grow on other plants (namely trees), and epiphylls decorate the leaves of other plants. Neither type of vegetation is parasitic. During the University of Manchester's Tropical Biology field course in Payamino, Ecuador, I was studying the biodiversity within bromeliads (more on here ). The first part of bromeliad collection is, obviously, finding them. I did just say the place is riddled with them. And it is. However, telling apart arboreal bromeliads and ferns, or even orchids, from the ground isn't always easy. Especially when looking up at a c

General update + camera trap flop

Sitting in hotel reception wondering if there's any coffee in this milk. Been suffering from caffeine withdrawal symptoms ever since crawling out of the jungle and into town. You'd think there'd be coffee in every eatery in South America (or I did) – not the case, unfortunately; not in Ecuador at least.

Off to Ecuador

(Actually written 2 July 2012 - bit late posting...) If you're reading this, I suspect you know me; but, just in case, my name is Xaali O'Reilly and I'm a zoology undergraduate at the University of Manchester, UK. Far from the grey skies and wet streets of northern England, I'll be spending the next thirteen months in Ecuador (South America), living in the jungle and studying its biodiversity. Starting off with a three week field course split between the Andean cloud forest and the Ecuadorian Amazon, I will then be staying on at the Timburi research station for my "industrial placement", until mid-July 2013. And yes, in Zoology studying critters in the rainforest counts as industry. Por supuesto, I don't expect have regular internet access – although the research station has just recently acquired a limited amount of satellite internet, which is definitely a plus. But I'll try to post updates/photos any time I crawl out of the jungle to stock